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DOD Inspector General: LCDR Syneeda Penland Whistleblower Reprisal Investigation

DOD Inspector General: LCDR Syneeda Penland Whistleblower Reprisal Investigation

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Published by JoanneRayner
Navy Supply Officer Syneeda Penland, who was not married, had an affair with another Navy Officer, LTJG Mark Wiggan, who was married. LCDR Penland repeatedly harassed Wiggan’s wife, who was an active duty enlisted Petty Officer, and emailed her sexually explicit photos to expedite the breakup of the Wiggan marriage. After the Commanding Officers of two ships complained that Penland was causing significant problems on their ships, she was charged with several violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Penland refused Non Judicial Punishment and was Court Martialed.

Penland was found guilty of numerous charges that were primarily centered on her abusing her position as an Officer to intimidate the enlisted wife of her lover. She was sentenced to 60 days confinement n the brig, and fined $9,000. She would be later administratively separated from the Navy. Although Penland would later claim the court martial was centered on the adultery charge, the primary violation, in the eyes of the jury, was that of an Officer abusing her authority and harassing the junior enlisted wife.
During the time leading to her Court Martial, Penland filed innumerous sexual harassment complaints and equal opportunity violation reports at every possible level of the Inspector General community. They were not substantiated. In a desperate attempt to draw attention from her indiscretions, she alleged over a dozen contracting violations concerning minor government purchases. Three of these allegations were in fact substantiated. However, they were minor administrative and procedural errors that caused no fraud or loss to the Government of any actual money.

Penland then proceed to blame the entire episode of her courts martial conviction on a theory that the entire case against her was fabricated to cover up these administrative contracting errors.

Over the months and years to follow, Penland would demonstrate once and again that if you make a hoax look and sound plausible enough, a lot of people will believe you. You must know how to play on fears and prejudices, to exploit motives and limitations. Penland was adept at this. She took naturally to fraud because her mind had difficulty distinguishing reality from delusion and right from wrong. The deliberate lie blurred into the unconscious fantasy. The events, the chain of cause and effect that she cut from the cloth of her imagination, became very real to her. Her narrative acquired an inner logic that was convincing unless you examine the hundreds of pages of investigation documents and courts martial proceedings.

Most of those who accepted Penland’s version of the events, particularly those who publicized it, never took the precaution of seeking out these doccuments. They took what Penland told them at face value. In the final analysis, Penland was a woman who used sex as a manipulative tool, and a person who attempted to manipulate the Navy and DoD Inspector General to exonerate her behavior.

We present you with the full public record, such that we can gather, of this twisted tale of lies and deception. While Penland continues to paint herself as the victim, if you take the time to examine the true records of facts in this case, you will come to realize the real victims are those that had the unfortunate experience to serve with Penland and suffer as the targets of her manipulations and false accusations.
Navy Supply Officer Syneeda Penland, who was not married, had an affair with another Navy Officer, LTJG Mark Wiggan, who was married. LCDR Penland repeatedly harassed Wiggan’s wife, who was an active duty enlisted Petty Officer, and emailed her sexually explicit photos to expedite the breakup of the Wiggan marriage. After the Commanding Officers of two ships complained that Penland was causing significant problems on their ships, she was charged with several violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Penland refused Non Judicial Punishment and was Court Martialed.

Penland was found guilty of numerous charges that were primarily centered on her abusing her position as an Officer to intimidate the enlisted wife of her lover. She was sentenced to 60 days confinement n the brig, and fined $9,000. She would be later administratively separated from the Navy. Although Penland would later claim the court martial was centered on the adultery charge, the primary violation, in the eyes of the jury, was that of an Officer abusing her authority and harassing the junior enlisted wife.
During the time leading to her Court Martial, Penland filed innumerous sexual harassment complaints and equal opportunity violation reports at every possible level of the Inspector General community. They were not substantiated. In a desperate attempt to draw attention from her indiscretions, she alleged over a dozen contracting violations concerning minor government purchases. Three of these allegations were in fact substantiated. However, they were minor administrative and procedural errors that caused no fraud or loss to the Government of any actual money.

Penland then proceed to blame the entire episode of her courts martial conviction on a theory that the entire case against her was fabricated to cover up these administrative contracting errors.

Over the months and years to follow, Penland would demonstrate once and again that if you make a hoax look and sound plausible enough, a lot of people will believe you. You must know how to play on fears and prejudices, to exploit motives and limitations. Penland was adept at this. She took naturally to fraud because her mind had difficulty distinguishing reality from delusion and right from wrong. The deliberate lie blurred into the unconscious fantasy. The events, the chain of cause and effect that she cut from the cloth of her imagination, became very real to her. Her narrative acquired an inner logic that was convincing unless you examine the hundreds of pages of investigation documents and courts martial proceedings.

Most of those who accepted Penland’s version of the events, particularly those who publicized it, never took the precaution of seeking out these doccuments. They took what Penland told them at face value. In the final analysis, Penland was a woman who used sex as a manipulative tool, and a person who attempted to manipulate the Navy and DoD Inspector General to exonerate her behavior.

We present you with the full public record, such that we can gather, of this twisted tale of lies and deception. While Penland continues to paint herself as the victim, if you take the time to examine the true records of facts in this case, you will come to realize the real victims are those that had the unfortunate experience to serve with Penland and suffer as the targets of her manipulations and false accusations.

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Published by: JoanneRayner on Nov 10, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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09/20/2014

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cj~
P1LECONTENTSFOR
H@S'L
TypeCase(SelectOne):ActiveOversigh~Preliminary__
1
FinalResponsefromDefenseAgency/MilitaryDepartment(Select):__ComplainantNotificationCorrectiveAction
2
COlTesp·o~5nce
to
(Select):--____DefenseAgency/MilitaryDepartmentforCaseClosure__DefenseAgency/MilitaryDepartmentforInvestigationReferral__DefenseAgency/MilitaryDepartmentNotificationofMRIInvestigation__DEPSECDEF,DirectorAdministrationandManagement
(DA&M)
__ComplainantforCaseClosureor__NotificationofInvestigation
3
ReportofInvestigation/OversightWorksheet/RecordofPreliminaryInquiry(Select):__HotlineCompletionReport><Service
10ROIMRIROI
~MRIReprisalOversightWorksheet__MRIMentalHealthEvaluationOversightWorksheet
__Preliminary
Inquiry(withbackupdocumentsandCRCApprovalMemo)
4
RecordofTestimonyTaken
5
MiscellaneousCorrespondence:PointofContactMemos__ContactwithComplainantMemosforRecord__B-mails
6
CongressionalCorrespondence
Eif-Qfli*kablej.
7
InvestigativePlan
(if
applicable)
8
9
10
IncomingCorrespondence:__ComplainantletterHotlineTasking~ServiceAdvisement
Of
applicable)
LeftSide
CaseAdministration(Casenotes/telephonecalls,TESSClosureCodeSheet.Summary)
 
INSPECTORGENERAL
DEPARTMENTOFDEFENSE
400
ARMY
NAVY
DRIVI:
ARLINGTON,VIRGINIA22202-4704
JAN152009
MEMORANDUMFORNAVALINSPECTORGENERAL
"____ATTN:_
HQILINE_1NVESTIGATIONSDIVISiON(N6)"--SUBJECT:CaseClosure-LieutenantCommander(LCDR)Syneeda
1.
Penland,UnitedStatesNavy,
(H08Ll
09442286)(2007-0638)WehavereviewedyourreportofinvestigationintoLCDRPenland'sallegationsofwhistleblowerreprisal,conductedunderTitle10,UnitedStatesCode,Section]034.Basedonourreviewweagreethattheresponsiblemanagementofficials
did
notrepriseagainstLCDRPenlandformakingprotectedcommunications.PleaseinformLCDRPenlandofyourfindingsandprovideheraredactedcopyofthereportofinvestigationassoonaspossible.AlsoinformLCDRPenlandthatshemaypetitiontheBoardforCorrectionofNavalRecordsshouldshewishfurtherconsiderationofthematter.ProvideusacopyofyourlettertoLCDRPenland.Pleasecontacthaveanyquestions.at(703)
604'"
01'
DSN664'"shouldyou
~~
.JaneDeeseDirectorMi
ry
eprisalInvestigations
cc:
DirectorofLegalPolicyDeputyUnderSecretaryofDefense(programIntegration),OUSD(p&R)
Feli{SFFIOJ/rT5
USE
SHfs¥
b{6}
b(7}{C)
 
(
OVERSIGHTCASEREVIEWWORKSHEET
(Military
Whistleblower
ProtectionAct-l0
U.S.C.
1034)1.Complainant:
-
-
-.
-
Name/Service:
LieutenantCommander(LCDR)
Syneeda
L.
Penland,United
States
Navy
DutyPosition
andLocation:
AssistantSupplyOfficer,
MaritimeExpeditionary
Security
GroupOne(MESO-I)
2.CaseNumber:H08LI094422863.CongressionalInterest:YesNo
X
4.LegalReview:LegalReviewReceived:YesX
No
FoundLegallySufficient:Yes
X
No
5.ServiceIGDeterminedtheAllegationsWere:
Substantiated
__x_
Not
Substantiated
__PartiallySubstantiated
See
Comments
inItem10
6.MID
Recommendation:
_____x_
ConcurwithService
Determinations
__PartiallyConcur
NonconcurwithServiceDeterminations__MRIConductAdditional
Investigation__RequestService
ConductAdditional
Investigation7.ProtectedCommunicationCs):a.Didtheinvestigatoridentifyallprotectedcommunications,to
include
thedateandtowhomthecommunicationwasmade?
YesX
No
b.
Were
allallegationscontainedinthecomplainant's
protected
communication/a)
(usually
FWA
issues)
separatelyinvestigatedorotherwiseproperlyaddressed?YesXNo
F0R0FFIGIAbUElE
m
~Ul

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