In October 2006, Leslie Hagen, who was working as the liaison between the Justice Department and the U.S. attorneys’ committee on Native American issues, was informed that despite her “outstanding” job performance reviews, her contract would not be renewed. In April 2008, NPR reported that the Justice Department was investigating whether Hagen was fired after a rumor reached former Justice Department official Monica Goodling that she was a lesbian.
When the DoJ Inspector General report on Goodling was released in July 2008, it concluded that Goodling was motivated by Hagen’s perceived sexual orientation and “that Goodling’s actions violated Department policy and federal law, and constituted misconduct.”
Last night, however, NPR reported the good news that Obama Justice Department has re-hired Hagen for old position:
Last year, the Justice Department posted Hagen’s old job again. The department conducted a national search. Applications came in from around the country. After several rounds of interviews, Hagen eventually won the job.
The paperwork makes it official as of Monday, Feb. 2. Hagen now has her old position back, but this time it’s a little different. Her contract no longer comes up for renewal every year. Now, the job is permanent.
NPR’s Ari Shapiro notes that “it is not a perfectly happy ending for Hagen” because “nobody official from the department ever apologized to her for what happened” and she still owes thousands of dollars in attorney fees that the Bush Justice Department refused to pay.
Hagen’s rehiring is only the latest move in an effort by President Obama and new Attorney General Eric Holder to provide a “a clean break with the past policies of the Bush administration.” Not only does Holder say that the Department is “no place for political favoritism,” but he is also expected to embark on “a broad doctrinal shift in policies” from the Bush administration.