Janet Napolitano, the secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security, is charged with gender discrimination in a lawsuit by James T. Hayes, Jr. that also claims DHS male employees were treated like “lapdogs” in a frat house atmosphere.
Hayes, whose current DHS position is special agent in charge of New York City investigations for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which is a component of DHS, asserts in court papers that he was pushed aside and demoted in favor of Napolitano’s female cronies in the agency.
The New York Post reports that Hayes claims his career at the DHS Washington headquarters was stalled “to make way for a less-qualified woman” who has “enjoyed a long-standing relationship” with Napolitano. The woman is apparently Dora Schriro, who now also works in NYC as the city’s commissioner of corrections. The nature of the so-called relationship is unspecified in the court documents.
The lawsuit against Janet Napolitano also maintains that Suzanne Barr, ICE’s chief of staff, humiliated male DHS staffers and treated them like lapdogs, and turned the agency into a female-run frat house, according to the New York Daily News.
A government spokesman said that “ICE doesn’t comment on unfounded claims and will respond to Mr. Hayes’s allegations as appropriate through the judicial system,” Politico reports.
James Hayes is seeking $335,000 in money damages.
Sex discrimination is illegal, regardless of the gender of the alleged victim or offender.
It remains to be seen if Hayes has enough evidence to substantiate his charges. The allegations of sex discrimination aside, Janet Napolitano, the former Democrat governor of Arizona, seemed like an odd choice for DHS secretary given her weak record on border security in that state, unlike current governor Jan Brewer.
Napolitano is the third secretary in the agency’s history, which was created following the 9/11 attacks.