Apparently, in Alberto Gonzalez's Department of Justice, being "outstanding" at one's job wasn't enough to ensure that one would actually keep it. On Wednesday, NPR reported that the Justice Department's inspector general is conducting an investigation to determine whether Justice Department attorney and liaison Leslie Hagen lost her job because of suspicions that she was a lesbian. Though Hagen received the highest possible mark of "Outstanding" for all five categories of her final job evaluation in February 2007, according to Paul Kiel at TPM Muckraker, Hagen had already been informed in October 2006 that the Justice Department would not renew her yearly contract.
The NPR article also quotes a number of Hagen's former colleagues who support the notion that Hagen excelled in her position. So what led to her dismissal? Enter Monica Goodling. Remember her, the senior counsel to Gonzalez who gained national attention for her involvement in the U.S. attorneys' firing fiasco? Well, the inspector general is looking to see if Goodling took a special interest in Hagen because of rumors of the latter's homosexuality. As an anonymous Republican states in the NPR article, "To some people, that's even worse than being a Democrat."
Vincent Rossmeier is an editorial assistant at Salon.