Bryan Whitman, a top Pentagon spokesman whose battles with a neighborhood nanny over parking allegedly led to stolen plates, threats and eventually a plea deal, has been put on administrative leave, the DoD announced Thursday.
"In light of the pending criminal case involving Bryan Whitman, he has been placed on administrative leave while the department reviews this matter.” Gordon Trowbridge, Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary, said in a statement to reporters.
The Washington Post first reported on Whitman’s confrontation with his Washington neighbor Wednesday in a bizarre story that began when Whitman allegedly confronted a neighbor’s nanny for what he believed was an illegal use of city-issued temporary passes. Weeks after finding an anonymous note on her car, the nanny reported that her license plates had been stolen. The nanny’s employer purchased $300-plus worth of cameras and surveillance equipment that allegedly caught Whitman removing the newly installed replacement plates.
On May 5, Whitman plead guilty and agreed to pay a $1,000 fine and 32 hours of community service, according to Washington District Court records.
The seemingly minor domestic squabble captured the attention of not only the Pentagon but Washington, an exaggerated tale of neighborhood disputes. Pentagon officials appear to have first learned about the incident from the Washington Post, even as Whitman has security clearance.
Within the Pentagon, Whitman, 58, was a once ubiquitous voice during the height of the U.S. war with Iraq and a top adviser to several secretaries of Defense. He currently leads community affairs.
Trowbridge said the Pentagon would not have any additional comments about the incident.
—Nancy A. Youssef