THE resignation of US ambassador to Kenya Scott Gration was triggered by an impending release of a highly critical audit report on him, according to online reports.
The reports in the Telegraph and the Cable yesterday said the American state department is about to release a report which exposes the outgoing ambassador's "bullying and eccentric" ways that put him at loggerheads with embassy staff in Nairobi.
The report by the State Department's Inspector General's office is said to be a compilation of complaints which range from threats and intimidation of staff to Gration's defiance of official lines of operations.
"It is understood that the State Department's inspector general is preparing to release a scathing report on Mr Gration, who is a close ally of President Barrack Obama following an extensive internal inquiry. The former Air Force major general is said to have shown a "confrontational" and eccentric style of micromanagement that caused low morale and complaints among embassy staff," the Telegraph report written by Jon Swaine said.
Citing multiple sources already briefed on the report's contents, Cable's Josh Rogin said the report is one of the worst reviews of an ambassador's performance written by the Inspector General staff "in several years." Gration who took over the Nairobi embassy in February 2011 from Michael Ranneberger announced his resignation to the media last Friday. He cited "differences with Washington" regarding his leadership style.
The two online reports said Gration is said to have ordered that all heights of all the tables at the embassy be adjusted as soon as he took over from Ranneberger. He also ordered all the "clocks be re-calibrated". "At one point in his battles with his newfound employees, Gration told the embassy staff he would "shoot them in the head" if they didn't follow his instructions, and the staff formally complained about that remark," the Cable citing "one unconfirmed account" said.
It said the former ambassador often bragged about his close ties to the White House and to Obama himself, although the White House stopped returning his phone calls after the IG's investigation results became known inside the administration.
The Telegraph on the other hand said Gration may have lost his security clearance after the inquiry found he had used a personal email account for official business and set up an office in an embassy lavatory in order to get around the building's secure network.
This claim was also corroborated by the Cable report which said "Gration preferred to use his Gmail account for official business and set up private offices in his residence - and an embassy bathroom - to conduct business outside the purview of the embassy staff." Before his appointment to Kenya, Gration was Obama's special envoy to Sudan.