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Navy: Ex-Blue Angels leader may have 'encouraged' sexual misconduct

SAN DIEGO -- The former commanding officer of the famed Blue Angels aerial demonstration team may have not only allowed sexually inappropriate conduct in the workplace but also encouraged it, the Navy said Wednesday.

The Navy last week announced that Capt. Gregory McWherter had been relieved of duty as executive officer of Naval Base Coronado because of initial findings of an investigation into misconduct during his tours as commander and flight leader of the Blue Angels.

The Navy at the time provided no details. But in a statement Wednesday said allegations included "lewd speech, inappropriate comments and sexually explicit humor" and pornography. 

The investigation showed that McWherter's actions may have violated "sexual harassment, hazing and equal opportunity policies," the Navy said.

The Navy provided the details after a story about McWherter's dismissal was published by the Washington Post.

McWherter served as commanding officer of the Blue Angels from November 2008 to November 2010, and then from May 2011 to November 2012.

"All Navy leaders, whether assigned to a highly visible unit like the 'Blues,' or to our installations, squadrons, ships and submarines, are held to the highest standards," said Vice Adm. David Buss, commander of Naval Air Forces.

The decision to relieve McWherter was made by Vice Adm. William French, commander of Navy Installation Command. The investigation began with a complaint filed with the Navy inspector general.

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tony.perry@latimes.com

Twitter: @LATsandiego

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