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Jul 23, 2011 7:03 PM by Matt Stafford

Navy secretary censures former Va. officer

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) - The secretary of the Navy has censured the former commander of a fighter squadron at Oceana Naval Air Station in Virginia.

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said the commander permitted a hostile work environment and allowed subordinates to sexually harass a junior officer.

The Virginian-Pilot reports Cmdr. Liam Bruen was head of Strike Fighter Squadron 186 in August 2009 when an informal meeting was held to choose call signs for new officers. One was given a signal with anti-gay overtones.

Mabus said in a letter Wednesday that Bruen "demonstrated a profound lack of judgment" in not promptly stopping the harassment.

Bruen, who retired earlier this year, said in an email to the newspaper that he fails to see the validity of the secretary's actions because he's no longer in the Navy.

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