Defense Department says Air Force Academy lax in reporting

AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (AP) The U.S. Defense Department has released a report criticizing a former leader of the Air Force Academy but saying he didn't impede an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct and drug use by football players.

The Pentagon's inspector general found that former superintendent Lt. Gen. Mike Gould shielded a football coach from questioning, The Colorado Springs Gazette reported (http://tinyurl.com/ju2hyom).

However, the report released Friday says the Air Force Office of Special Investigations didn't insist on interviewing the coach or document allegations of command interference.

The Air Force Academy issued a statement saying the report found no system-wide problem but academy leaders still have a duty to improve the culture and climate at one of the nation's leading academies.

''While we prefer to look forward and cannot control things that happened in the past, we acknowledge the subculture of cadet behavior described was inconsistent with the culture of commitment and climate of respect that we work hard to uphold here,'' the statement reads.

The inspector general said there was no documented evidence of special treatment for a football player suspected of drug use and complaints about an officer's interference in a sexual assault case.

Gould, who retired as a three-star general, has denied interfering with the investigation.

''I, in no way, did anything to impede their investigation, or to slow it down, or anything else. I don't know what else to tell you,'' Gould told investigators.

He could not be located Friday for further comment.

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Information from: The Gazette, http://www.gazette.com

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