Suzanne Barr, top Obama administration official, quits post as ICE chief of staff amid sex harassment allegations
Her decision to quit came two weeks after Barr took a leave of absence after new raunchy charges from a pair of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement employees.
By Larry Mcshane / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
The party's over for a top Obama administration official.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement Chief of Staff Suzanne Barr resigned Saturday amid charges that she created a “frat house” atmosphere of boozing and sexual harassment at the agency.
Barr’s decision to quit came two weeks after she took a leave of absence after new raunchy charges from a pair of ICE employees.
One claimed that a hard-drinking Barr, longtime aide to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, approached him at a U.S. diplomat’s home with an offer of oral sex.
A second worker detailed a 2009 meeting in the office of ICE Director John Morton where a leering Barr made inappropriate comments to a senior employee.
“You a sexy mothaf----,” she purportedly purred before looking at his crotch and asking, “How long is it anyway?”
Homeland Security Agent James Hayes filed a May lawsuit accusing Napolitano of hiring female friends who created a work environment that was hostile to men.
Hayes claimed Barr cleared out the offices of three male employees and moved the nameplates, computers, telephones and other items into a men's bathroom at ICE headquarters.
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,” the suit says.
In her resignation letter, Barr wrote that the charges against her are “unfounded” and were “designed to destroy my reputation.”
“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.”
Barr served as chief of legislative affairs when Napolitano was the governor of Arizona.
Napolitano was named the head of the Department of Homeland Security in 2009, and Barr was among her first appointments.
Barr’s resignation “raises the most serious questions about management practices and personnel policies at the Department of Homeland Security,” said House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Pete King (R-N.Y.).
With News Wire Services