Immigration Enforcement Chief of Staff Resigns over Allegations of Anti-Male Discrimination
Suzanne Barr had been on leave from her position as chief of staff to the director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). She was accused of creating a “sexualized office culture that was hostile to men,” according to The New York Times.
The allegations surfaced after James T. Hayes Jr., director of ICE Detention and Removal Operations in Washington D.C., filed a discrimination lawsuit against Napolitano. Hayes claimed he was forced away from his responsibilities to make room for a less-qualified woman, Dora Schiro, who had served as director of the Arizona Department of Corrections when Napolitano was the state’s governor.
Schiro later left ICE and was appointed by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg as commissioner of the city Department of Correction.
Hayes also alleges that he was retaliated against after he threatened to sue, and that Barr created “a frat-house-type atmosphere that is targeted to humiliate and intimidate male employees.” At one point, according to Hayes’ complaint, “Barr moved the entire contents of the offices of three male employees, including name plates, computers, and telephones, to the men’s bathroom at ICE headquarters.” In addition, “Barr took an ICE blackberry device assigned to a male Special Agent in Charge and sent a Blackberry Messenger message to his female supervisor indicating that the male employee had a crush on the female supervisor and fantasized about her.”
Barr described the allegations as “unfounded and without any merit.”
-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky
To Learn More:
Top Official at ICE Quits Over Discrimination Claims (by Charlie Savage, New York Times)
Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano Favored Women Pals For Jobs: Lawsuit (by Bruce Golding, New York Post)
James T. Hayes Jr. v. Janet Napolitano (U.S. District Court, District of Columbia) (pdf)
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