WASHINGTON Acting Navy Undersecretary Robert Martinage, the department's No. 2, has resigned under pressure, sources confirmed for Defense News.

The resignation, which Martinage announced to his staff Tuesday morning, came after allegations were made of inappropriate conduct with a subordinate woman.

Martinage, whose permanent position had been deputy Navy undersecretary for plans, policy, oversight and integration, had been performing the duties of the undersecretary since Robert Work resigned last May to take a position with the Center for a New American Security, a Washington think tank.

The resignation took many in the Navy Department by surprise, and reportedly came swiftly after Martinage was confronted by investigatory evidence.

The nomination of Jo Ann Rooney as the new undersecretary was approved Jan. 9 by a Senate committee, but she has yet to be confirmed by the full Senate. In October, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., placed a hold on Rooney's nomination over her stance that the prosecution of rape and sexual assault should remain in the military chain of command.

Martinage had been expected to remain in the acting under role until Rooney could take office.

Tom Hicks, deputy Navy undersecretary and deputy chief management officer, will serve as the acting under until Rooney comes on board, the Navy confirmed.

Martinage, who has held several positions in the Pentagon, had been a long-time analyst and war gamer with Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, specializing in special operations and irregular warfare.

An official statement from the Navy on Martinage's resignation is forthcoming, pending the completion of congressional notifications.

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