The Trump administration named a new interim U.S. Forest Service chief on Thursday, just days after the prior head of the agency stepped down due to sexual misconduct allegations.
The appointment of Vickie Christiansen, an experienced deputy chief and former forest firefighter, came at the end of “a difficult week,” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue wrote in an email to the agency’s 35,000 employees, according to The Associated Press.
Perdue accepted the resignation of Tony Tooke on Wednesday, following a “PBS NewsHour” investigative report in which dozens of women alleged a rampant sexual harassment within the agency. It also revealed the allegations against Tooke.
Perdue is reportedly implementing measures to prevent retaliation against victims of workplace harassment, including hiring outside investigators to look into future complaints of sexual misconduct.
The extra measures come after the department’s inspector general said in a departmental audit released on Thursday that nearly half of the agency’s employees were distrustful of the reporting system in place, according to the AP.
In an email to the Forest Service announcing his resignation, Tooke wrote that he admires the courage of the women who are speaking out against workplace harassment, and that the agency deserves a leader with “moral authority” moving forward.
Christiansen did not respond to the AP’s request for comment.
-Updated 4:31 p.m.