By HELEN POW
A senior Navy Commander in San Diego has been fired after he asked female sailors to send him sexy photos of themselves and to give him ‘a good back massage’ in a string of sleazy cell phone messages and emails.
Commander Allen Maestas, the No. 2 officer being groomed to take over the city’s Naval Beach Group 1 unit, was relieved of his position on May 16 after complaints from his female staff sparked an investigation into his ‘inappropriate’ conduct.
The incriminating text messages, released by the Navy on Tuesday, include a series to one sailor under his command in which he wrote ‘weekends sorta suck cause I don’t get to see you until Monday’ and ‘I’m jealous u r in (pa)jamas. I wish I could join u.’
He also sent the same woman messages requesting she send photos of herself to him in shorts or ‘in any pose’ and wrote ‘Sure wish U could give a good back massage.’
The executive officer repeatedly mentioned another female sailor’s truck and even offered to wash it if her boyfriend couldn’t do it.
According to U-T San Diego the sailor was so uncomfortable she sold the vehicle to avoid further remarks from Maestas.
The explosive messages were made public in response to a Freedom of Information Act request from U-T San Diego. More than one woman said the messages Maestas fired off made her uncomfortable, according to the investigation report.
The report also found Maestas used smiley faces after offensive remarks to women so he could later claim that he was joking.
Initially, the executive officer, whose decorations include a Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, and five Navy Commendation Medals, denied any wrongdoing in an interview with investigators.
However, later the same day he admitted that problems at home had led him to let his professional standards ‘slip’ at work.
‘I started allowing myself to have conversations with my subordinates that I wouldn’t normally have,’ he wrote in a statement contained in the FOI documents. ‘I was looking for someone to talk to.’
Any further information relating to his family situation was redacted from the report.
According to U-T San Diego, investigators concluded Maestas inquired about the personal lives of his female staff because he was genuinely interested in helping them. But they said he used this as a pretext for ‘improper familiarity.’
San Diego’s Naval Surface Forces spokesman Commander Tamsen Reese told MailOnline on Wednesday that the messages were ‘inappropriate and unprofessional and did not respect the senior-subordinate relationship.’
‘Sailors deserve an environment where they feel comfortable in the work place,’ she said, adding that the Navy held its leadership to a high standard and Maestas’ treatment was an example of that.
Maestas served in the enlisted ranks before he graduated from the University of Utah and was commissioned in 1995. He has served several ship-board deployments and also a year in Afghanistan to assist in training the Afghan army. – “DM”