A top Pentagon official was arrested on theft charges and will need to pay restitution and do community service after a bizarre chain of events involving an apparent parking dispute.
Bryan Whitman, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, the highest-ranking career civilian in the Defense Department’s public affairs office had been charged with three counts of theft.
The case, which involves the harassment of a nanny who parked her car in Whitman’s neighborhood, will be closed if the man pays $1,000 in restitution, completes 32 hours of community service at a local food bank, keeps out of trouble for 10 months and stays away from the people he is accused of stealing from and harassing.
The trouble began in April, when Whitman allegedly put a note on a car belonging to the nanny, which was parked in his neighborhood, threatening to have the car towed away if she parked there again.
Two days later the license plates on her cars were stolen. After she replaced the plates, the rear plate was again stolen. The nanny then got a new car, and fastened the plates with heftier bolts.
The parents of the 1-year-old boy that the nanny was looking after then installed a surveillance system, which captured Whitman inspecting the new car in an attempt to remove the new plates.
When police went to Whitman’s home with a warrant, he handed over the stolen license plates.
Whitman was charged on May 5, and on Tuesday he reached a deferred prosecution agreement with the court for restitution and community service.
According to US officials, Pentagon leaders didn’t learn about the problem until they were contacted by reporters. Whitman has been placed on administrative leave following events.