"Goodling Rejected ‘Outstanding’ Attorney’s Job Extension Because Of ‘Inappropriate’ Gay Relationship"
In April, NPR reported that the Justice Department Inspector General was investigating whether former DOJ White House liaison Monica Goodling dismissed a career DOJ attorney “because of rumors that she is a lesbian.”
Today’s Office of Professional Responsibility report confirms that Goodling, a graduate of Pat Robertson’s Regent University, did discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. In the case described by the report, Goodling stalled an assistant U.S. attorney’s advancement because of rumors of a gay relationship with her superior, a U.S. attorney.
As the report notes, the assistant U.S. attorney (AUSA) received “outstanding” performance reviews, the highest possible rating, and was subsequently granted a work extension in 2006. Goodling, however, opposed it. Deputy Director John Nowacki, who supported the extension, described a meeting with Goodling:
Goodling brought up the issue of the attorney’s “relationship in progress” with her U.S. Attorney “and made it clear just that she thought that was inappropriate.”
Several other officials report witnessing the same discrimination from Goodling. When Executive Office for U.S. Attorney Associate Counsel Natalie Voris told Goodling she supported the extension, Goodling “responded that Voris did not know the AUSA as well as she thought she did“:
Voris said that Goodling then told her that the [assistant U.S. attorney] had a homosexual relationship with the U.S. Attorney in the AUSA’s USAO and that the two took trips together at government expense. Voris told us she believes that the AUSA’s alleged sexual orientation was a factor in Goodling’s decision not to extend the detail.
Furthermore, when the assistant U.S. attorney sought a detail in the Office of Violence Against Women, Goodling objected “because it would look like the Department was sanctioning the homosexual relationship.”
The OIG report also implicates Michael Battle, a key figure in the US. Attorney scandal, for sitting on the sidelines. Battle “should have raised concerns about Goodling’s actions with Goodling’s supervisor, Kyle Sampson, the OIG [Office of Inspector General], or OPR,” the report states.
“We concluded that Goodling’s actions violated Department policy and federal law, and constituted misconduct,” the report adds. Both the assistant U.S. attorney and the U.S. attorney denied the relationship.