Tuesday, July 29, 2008

DOJ apparently fired some US attorneys over sexual orientation

The Los Angeles Times this morning is running a shocking story about the United States Department of Justice, by Richard B. Schmitt, “Sexuality bias seen at Justice Department: An internal report says that alleged homosexuality was used as a litmus test in hiring and firing; Margaret Chiara, a former U.S. attorney, now thinks a false rumor cost her job”. The link is here.

The story goes on to talk about a rumored relationship between Chiara and Leslie Hagen, which Chiara denies. Of course, the DOJ is claiming that all of these dismissals (there were nine of them in particular) were based strictly on “performance.” The DOJ’s inspector general found that former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales used homosexuality as an indicator for personnel decisions.

There have been comparable complaints in the past about the Special Counsel (Scott Bloch, during the Bush Administration) not properly enforcing civil service regulations about sexual orientation, in effect since 1973. These regulations might not apply to political appointments. This was covered on this blog May 7, 2008.

Federal GLOBE does not yet have this story on its website as far as I can see, but it does have this guideline statement.

Now, I see in my own local paper that it gets worse. The front page of the Washington Post July 29 has a story by Carrie Johnson, “Internal Justice Dept. Report Cites Illegal Hiring Practices,” link here. It looks like there was ring to hire only “Conservative Christians” and eliminate liberals and yuppies. The Post even weighs in with an editorial this morning, p A16, “Justice Besmirched: How the Bush administration soiled itself," link here.

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