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article imageTop ICE official resigns over allegations of lewd conduct

By Arthur Weinreb     Sep 2, 2012 in World
Washington - Suzanne Barr, the chief of staff of U.S. Immigration Enforcement, resigned yesterday in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations made by male ICE employees.
Barr sent her letter of resignation to ICE director John Morton. The letter, obtained by the media, is set out by Fox News as saying,
"In recent weeks, I have been the focus of unfounded allegations designed to destroy my reputation, but of greater concern however is the threat these allegations represent to the reputation of this agency and the men and women who proudly serve their country by advancing ICE's mission.
As such, I feel it is incumbent upon me to take every step necessary to prevent further harm to the agency and to prevent this from further distracting from our critical work. Therefore, it is with great regret that I submit my resignation as Chief of Staff for Immigration and Customs Enforcement."
Barr has been on a leave of absence because of the allegations for the past three weeks.
In May, a lawsuit was filed against ICE and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) secretary Janet Napolitano by James T. Hayes Jr. who works in the agency's New York office. The immigration official claims he was pushed out of a senior position in favour of a less qualified woman. He further alleges after the suit was filed, Barr retaliated against him.
According to Hayes, Barr is anti-men and the lawsuit, as reported by the New York Times, alleges Barr created "a frat-house-type atmosphere that is targeted to humiliate and intimidate male employees."
CNN reports DHS filed a motion to have Hayes' lawsuit dismissed. The motion claims the allegations against Barr are "irrelevant" and an "attempt to embarrass or harass senior government officials."
DHS also argues the allegations Hayes was discriminated against does not conform to the fact that he now heads ICE's office in New York City, the agency's second largest field office.
The New York Daily News reports that after the lawsuit was filed, other male employees came forward with allegations against Barr. One employee claims Barr, described as hard-drinking, offered to perform oral sex on him while the two were at the home of a U.S. diplomat.
Another employee claims he was with Barr in the office of ICE director Morton in 2009. He accuses her of leering him and looking at his crotch before saying, "You a sexy motha......." She is then alleged to have asked, "How long is it?"
There is also an allegation that Barr moved the offices of three male employees into the men's washroom.
According to ICE's website, Barr began working for ICE in January 2009 at the beginning of the Obama administration. Prior to that, the lawyer worked as a deputy director and director of legislative affairs for then governor of Arizona, Janet Napolitano.
Barr denies that allegations against her and none of them have been proven.
More about suzanne barr, Ice, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, lewd conduct, Sexual harassment
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