As the father of two professional daughters, one of whom has spent the past ten years in the male dominated US Navy, I have been taken aback by the way that the Democratic Party leaders have reacted to testimony from four appointed Commissioners on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. These four experienced, mature professionals took the extraordinary step of drafting a letter to the White House Chief of Staff to describe the behavior of the appointed Chairman.
They told Mr. Daley that Greg Jaczko has established a chilled work environment, that he prevents the unimpeded flow of information from the professional, technical staff to his fellow commissioners and that he has verbally harassed at least three senior women staff members to the point where one of them began shaking and where one of them was reduced to tears.
In this video clip, William Ostendorff, a retired US Navy Captain with more than 30 years of service to the United States, calmly describes why he and his fellow commissioners took the unprecedented step of writing to the White House.
Immediately after that testimony, which Commissioner Ostendorff is providing under oath, Senator Boxer goes off on a tirade and accuses four out of five commissioners, two Democrats and two Republicans, of participating in what she calls “a witch hunt”. She also implies that the four commissioners, all of whom have a lengthy period of demonstrated professional performance in jobs associated with safely using nuclear energy and radioactive materials, of being soft on safety.
This clip greatly disturbs me and should disturb all professional women, their coworkers, their husbands and their fathers. Passion is no excuse for mistreating people in the work place.
Disclosure: About a dozen years ago, I had the distinct pleasure of working with Captain William Ostendorff in a volunteer capacity. He was one of the senior submarine officers at the US Naval Academy while I was a Company Officer. I thoroughly enjoyed helping him with the Career Information Program. Our task was to help midshipmen understand the opportunities offered by the submarine force and the nuclear power training program.