DOJ Looking into Possible Firing of Atty Over Sexual Orientation

NPR reports on a probe into the possible firing of an attorney at the Justice Department for her sexual orientation. It’s an investigation which grew out of the larger Alberto Gonzalez U.S. Attorney firings there.

GoodlingAttorney Leslie Hagen, who received “outstanding” job evaluations, was let go under Gonzales’s senior counsel Monica Goodling.

According to NPR, “The Justice Department’s inspector general is looking into whether Hagen was dismissed after a rumor reached Goodling that Hagen is a lesbian. As one Republican source put it, ‘To some people, that’s even worse than being a Democrat.’ Several people interviewed by the inspector general’s staff said investigators asked whether people drew a connection between the rumors and Hagen’s dismissal. The witnesses, who spoke to NPR on the condition of anonymity, said they felt that the rumors led to the decision not to renew Hagen’s contract. Someone who worked in Hagen’s office says that in a 2006 meeting, senior officials were told that Hagen’s contract would not be renewed because someone on the attorney general’s staff had a problem with Hagen. The problem, it was suggested during the conversation, was sexual orientation — or what was rumored to be Hagen’s sexual orientation. One person at the meeting asked, ‘Is that really an issue?’ But the decision had been made.”

Justice Probes Lawyer’s Dismissal Amid Gay Rumor [npr]