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Department Rehires Attorney Fired for Being Gay

Justice
Department Rehires Attorney Fired for Being Gay

Leslie Hagen has returned to her job as an attorney for the Justice Department, 10 months after she was sacked for being gay.

In 2006, Hagen was the liaison between the Justice Department and the U.S. Attorneys' committee on Native American affairs. She routinely received outstanding marks from supervisors, but as National Public Radio reported last year, she was removed from her job after a top aide to former attorney general Alberto Gonzales passed on a rumor to senior counsel that Hagen is a lesbian.

Despite sexual-orientation discrimination protections within the Justice Department, Hagen lost her job. Monica Goodling, senior counsel to Gonzales, was responsible for removing Hagen from her position, and after an investigation by the inspector general it was discovered that Goodling had also been instrumental in preventing Hagen from seeking a new position within the Justice Department.

In attempting to fill Hagen's open position a nationwide search was conducted by the Justice Department. Hagen herself was one of the many who applied, and after several rounds of interviews, Hagen was offered her former position. On Monday, Hagen assumed a permanent position at the department's Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys. (She had formerly worked on a yearly contract basis.)

Despite being rehired, Hagen's case is not closed. The department has not offered her an apology, nor has it agreed to pay the thousands of dollars she owes in legal fees. With Eric Holder now confirmed as the nation's attorney general, perhaps these issues will be reconsidered. (Shannon Connolly, Advocate.com)

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