Fired On a Lesbian Rumor During Bush, Lawyer Returns to Dept. of Justice

leslie-hagenA top aide to the Attorney General, with nothing but outstanding performance reviews, Leslie Hagen was suddenly fired after, Monica Goodling, senior counsel to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales heard a rumor that Hagen was a lesbian. Not only that, she prevented her from getting any other job at justice. But it’s all water under the bridge (plus thousands in outstanding lawyer fees) as Hagen reapplied for her old job and was rehired under the new administration. One perk–her new job is a permanent one.

NPR reports:

“In 2006, Hagen was the liaison between the main Justice Department and the U.S. Attorneys’ committee on Native American affairs. The chairman of that committee, Tom Heffelfinger, described Hagen to NPR last year as “the best qualified person in the nation to fill that job.” Hagen’s performance evaluations had the highest possible ratings — “outstanding” in each of five categories.

The job came up for renewal every year. After the first year, Hagen was surprised to hear that she would have to move on.

As NPR reported in April, a top aide to the attorney general had heard a rumor that Hagen was a lesbian. Discrimination based on sexual orientation is against Justice Department rules. But Monica Goodling, senior counsel to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, had Hagen removed from her job anyway…

Last year, the Justice Department posted Hagen’s old job again. The department conducted a national search. Applications came in from around the country. After several rounds of interviews, Hagen eventually won the job.

The paperwork makes it official as of Monday, Feb. 2. Hagen now has her old position back, but this time it’s a little different. Her contract no longer comes up for renewal every year. Now, the job is permanent.”