Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano Ran Agency Like A Female 'Frat House,' Suit Charges
There's been no shortage of government workers alleged to have engaged in bad behavior in recent years. The revelation last spring that the General Services Administration blew nearly $800,000 on an extravagant conference for its staff in Las Vegas is just one such example.
But allegations that the nation's current chief of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, ran her agency like a sexually charged "frat house" and promoted women over men are giving taxpayers more reason to ponder just who is running their government.
The charges are contained in a lawsuit filed by James Hayes Jr., the special agent in charge of New York City investigations for Immigration and Customs Enforcement. News of the suit was first reported Wednesday by conservative blogger Debbie Schussel.
Hayes alleges that when Napolitano was appointed to head the agency in 2009, following President Barack Obama's election, that he was pushed aside from his role as director of ICE's detention and removal operations to make way for a less-qualified worker, Donna Schriro, with whom Napolitano "enjoyed a long-standing relationship," the New York Post reports.
The tabloid adds that the nature of the Napolitano's purported relationship with Schriro isn't specified in Hayes' lawsuit. Schriro nows runs New York City's Department of Corrections.
Hayes claims that he was denied a prized promotion while employed at ICE's Washington office, New York's Daily News reports. His suit also says that Schriro's lack of "experience in managing a federal law enforcement department" didn't prevent the cabinet chief from naming her a special adviser.
Hayes further alleges that Suzanne Barr, Napolitano's chief of staff at ICE, has engaged in "numerous" acts of "sexually offensive behavior" intended to "humiliate and intimidate male employees."
Those include allegations that Barr called a male ICE agent into her hotel room, screaming at him that she wanted his 'c*** in the back of her throat,' " the Post reports. Hayes also accuses Barr of stealing a male staffer's BlackBerry to send a message to his female boss to tell her that he "had a crush on [her] and fantasized about her."
The suit also alleges that Barr "moved the entire contents of the offices of three employees, including nameplates, computers and telephones, to the men's bathroom at ICE headquarters."
ICE spokesman Brian Hale told the Post, "ICE doesn't comment on unfounded claims and will respond to Mr. Hayes' allegations as appropriate through the judicial system."
Hayes seeks $335,000 in damages. He has held his New York post since October 2009.
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David Schepp has spent more than a dozen years covering business news for the electronic and print media, including Dow Jones Newswires, BBC News, Gannett Co., and most recently at AOL's DailyFinance. Nearly 10 years ago, he started writing a weekly People@Work column, looking in depth at issues facing workers in today's workplace. Follow David on Twitter. Email David at firstname.lastname@example.org. Add David to your Google+ circles.more...