Leslie Hagan, it appears, was a bit too outstanding for the Justice Department. The attorney worked as a liaison between the Justice Department and the U.S. attorneys’ committee on Native American issues and received consistent “outstanding” marks on her evaluations. However, she is also a lesbian as well as a Republican. It was the first part that allegedly bothered people like Monica Goodling, the oft-ridiculed former Justice official involved in the firings of U.S. Attorneys.
The Inspector General is looking into credible allegations that Leslie Hagen’s contract was not renewed because of the talk about her sexual orientation despite rave reviews from co-workers who referred to her, in one form, as “The Best Qualified Person in the Nation.” Well, that depends on the meaning of qualification.
Goodling was criticized as little more than a political hack with a razor thin resume. The graduate of Regents University appears selected for a top Justice position due to the purity of her political views and loyalty to Bush. Click here
Justice Department e-mails obtained by NPR show that Gonzales’s senior counsel Monica Goodling had a particular interest in Hagen’s duties. A few months before Hagen was let go, according to one e-mail, Goodling removed part of Hagen’s job portfolio — the part dealing with child exploitation and abuse.
Goodling, who left the Justice Department last year, declined through her lawyer to comment on the matter.
At the height of the scandal over the fired U.S. attorneys, Goodling admitted to making personnel decisions about career Justice Department lawyers based on improper partisan considerations.
“I crossed the line of the civil service rules,” Goodling told Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) at a congressional hearing in May 2007.
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.
Normally, Goodling and Bush officials seemed satisfied regardless of your performance if you were a Republican. However, as one insider put it to NPR: “To some people, that’s even worse than being a Democrat.”
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