The recent arrest of a top Pentagon official has caused quite a stir in Georgia, as the former chief of staff for the Americas division of the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA), Stephen Hovanic, found himself tangled up in a human-trafficking sting. Hovanic, who’s been in the position since 2010, was nabbed by the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) along with 25 others in connection with an alleged human-trafficking ring.
— New York Post (@nypost) November 28, 2023
Hovanic, 64, faces charges of pandering after allegedly trying to solicit sex in a motel room with an undercover agent. The authorities involved in the sting emphasized the importance of cracking down on sex buyers, noting that without them, there wouldn’t be a market for the females being victimized. They also highlighted the gravity of the situation for the females involved and the overarching goal to extricate them from such a lifestyle.
The incident has prompted a response from DoDEA, which listed Hovanic’s former position as “vacant” on its website. The organization acknowledged the alleged incident involving a DoDEA employee in the Americas Region but declined to provide further details due to ongoing legal processes, instead directing inquiries to local law enforcement.
The DoDEA is responsible for overseeing the educational programs for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade of military and Department of Defense families, operating 160 schools across 11 countries, seven states, Guam, and Puerto Rico. With approximately 15,000 employees and nearly 70,000 children under its wing, DoDEA is steadfast in its commitment to providing top-notch education to military families.
The news of such a high-ranking official getting ensnared in a human-trafficking bust certainly raises eyebrows, serving as a reminder that no industry or position is exempt from unsavory activities. This incident underscores the importance of thorough vetting and upholding high ethical standards, as even leaders in prestigious institutions are not immune to potential misconduct.