Meet Leslie Hagan:
Several people interviewed by the inspector general's staff described the case to NPR and said they came away with the impression that the Attorney General's office decided not to renew Leslie Hagen's contract because of the talk about her sexual orientation. Hagen received the highest possible ratings for her work as liaison between the Justice Department and the U.S. attorneys' committee on Native American issues. Her final job evaluation lists five categories for supervisors to rank her performance. For each category, a neat X fills the box marked, "Outstanding." And at the bottom of the page, under "overall rating level," she also got the top mark: Outstanding.
The form is dated February 1, 2007. Several months before that evaluation, Hagen was told her contract would not be renewed
Sarah Brubaker, a tribal prosecutor in Michigan, said Hagen was "at the very top of any of the prosecutors I've ever worked with." Brubaker said it's very difficult "to find someone of her caliber, who is not only an excellent prosecutor, but also easy to work with — personable, professional."
A former U.S. Attorney for Minnesota, Tom Heffelfinger, recruited Hagen in October 2005 to come to Washington from Michigan, where she won awards for her work as a federal prosecutor.
"I felt at the time she was the best qualified person in the nation to fill that job," says Heffelfinger. "I was never consulted about her performance as liaison to the Native American Issues Committee, and I never heard any criticism of her performance from any other component within the department."
What makes this story truly fun is an appearance by on old friend:
So, what was Goodling's problem with Hagen?
The Justice Department's inspector general is looking into whether Hagen was dismissed after a rumor reached Goodling that Hagen is a lesbian.
As one Republican source put it, "To some people, that's even worse than being a Democrat."
Yes, that would be Monica "Law Degree From Pat Robertson" Goodling.
Speaking of rumors, is it irresponsible to speculate that Our Fair Monica's impending nuptials are a cover for some secret that she finds shameful? It is irresponsible not to.*
See, rumor-mongering can be fun and productive!
*Formulation ©Peggy Noonan
[Via Paul Kiel.]