New York Daily News, August 9, 2012: Looks like the Department of Homeland Security could be renamed the Department of Hyper Sexuality.
A blistering federal discrimination suit accuses agency honcho Janet Napolitano of turning the department into a female-run “frat house” where male staffers were banished to the bathrooms and routinely humiliated.
James Hayes Jr., who now is New York’s top Homeland Security cop, claims Napolitano filled top spots in Washington, D.C., with two of her gal pals who were bent on tormenting male employees.
The suit identified them as Dora Schriro, who is now running the city Department of Correction, and Suzanne Barr, the chief of staff for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Soon after Schriro and Barr were hired in January 2009, male staffers were treated like lapdogs, Hayes claims.
Barr “moved the entire contents of the offices of three employees, including name plates, computers and telephones, to the men’s bathroom at ICE headquarters,” the suit says.
Barr also stole a male staffer’s BlackBerry and fired off a message to his female supervisor indicating that he “had a crush on [her] and fantasized about her,” Hayes claims.
Sometimes, Barr took a more direct approach. In one case, she called a male colleague in his hotel room and screamed at him using sexually humiliating language, the suit says.
Hayes claims that after he reported the abuse to the Equal Employment Opportunity office, Napolitano launched a series of misconduct investigations against him.
Hayes claims he was denied a prized promotion and systematically pushed aside while working out of ICE’s Washington office. The suit says Schriro was named the special adviser to Secretary Napolitano on Detention and Removal Operations and began to replace Hayes at meetings despite having no “experience in managing a federal law enforcement department.”
Schriro did, however, have a “long standing relationship with [Napolitano],” the suit says.
Hayes, who is seeking relief for $335,000 in damages, was named the special agent in charge of ICE’s New York field office in Oct. 2009.
ICE Director of Public Affairs Brian Hale blasted the suit, which was filed in May and first reported by the blog, debbieschlussel.com.
“ICE doesn’t comment on unfounded claims and will respond to Mr. Hayes’ allegations as appropriate through the judicial system,” he said.
A Department of Correction spokesman denied claims that her relationship with Napolitano figured into her hiring.
“Commissioner Schriro’s selection and service at DHS was based on the merits. Any suggestion to the contrary is false,” spokesman Robin Campbell said.