Fired lesbian gets justice (kind of)

The attorney fired amid rumors that she was gay gets her job back, along with whopping legal fees.

By Abigail Kramer

Published February 4, 2009 9:39PM (EST)

In yet another sign that sanity is making a comeback in Washington, NPR reported that Leslie Hagen, the Department of Justice attorney who was fired because of rumors that she's a lesbian, has finally gotten her job back.

Hagen worked as a department liaison until 2006, when she ran afoul of Republican hit-lady Monica Goodling -- most famous for the partisan hiring and firing scandal that led to the eventual resignation of then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Despite excellent performance reviews, Hagen was fired the first time her job came up for renewal. DOJ staffers leaked the story to NPR, saying that the order had come from Goodling, who'd gotten word that Hagen was gay. Back at the beginning of 2008, NPR quoted an anonymous Republican source as saying, "To some people, that's even worse than being a Democrat." The story was confirmed a few months later by a Justice Department investigation.

The department reopened Hagen's old position last year and, after interviewing several candidates, decided that Hagen was, indeed, the best person for the job. She was officially reinstated this week.

The unhappy part of the ending is that the entire shenanigans left Hagen with thousands of dollars in legal fees, which the DOJ refuses to pay. Funny that: Just a few months ago, the department agreed to hire a private lawyer to defend Alberto "Aren't Human Rights Quaint" Gonzales from charges ensuing from his role in the Goodling debacle.

Abigail Kramer

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