This is old news by now (as of last Thursday--so last week!), but the Department of Justice finally released their report following an investigation of illegal firings and occupational interferences under the tenure of Alberto Gonzales as U.S. Attorney General. Much of the to-do has centered around Monica Goodling, who was senior counsel to Gonzales as well as the DOJ's liaison to the White House [get it?? the White House--you know, where that Bush guy is crashing].
We discussed this a little bit in an earlier article here when this was all in the "allegedly" stages. Truth be told, I had faith neither in the ability nor the willingness of the DOJ to investigate itself, but as I've said before, lawyers are my perennial heroes, and they have not disappointed me this time, either. No allegeds about it; Monica Goodling kept a highly qualified employee from advancing because she suspected the woman was a lesbian.
The report adds a little intrigue to the story, which is that Goodling allegedly [O.K., one more "alleged"] suspected that the employee was having a lesbian affair with her superior; for this reason she barred the employee from career assignments without the employee's knowledge.
[Okay, whether or not that little tidbit is true or that it ever happened--and the woman denies it, by the way--can we take a moment to visualize two civic champions at the highest echelons of the DOJ fighting crime and prosecuting women- and child-abusers by day with brilliant acuity who then retire to each other's arms at night? Ooh, add in a little powerplay with some spicy boss and star employee dynamic . . . but I digress . . .]
So one must ask oneself, If I were in Monica Goodling's position--if I were a conservative, evangelical Christian liaison to the Bush White House--would I keep someone from advancing if she were in a heterosexual relationship with her superior? Would I give a shit? Even if the employee had reviews of "outstanding" from four other superiors would I care enough to take measures to ensure that this woman would not succeed?
(By the way, the answer is "No.")
And yay, the investigators at the DOJ asked themselves the same thing and came up with my same answer. Here's what they said:
"We concluded that Goodling refused to extend the AUSA’s EOUSA [Assistant United States Attorney's Executive Office for United States Attorneys] detail, and tried to block her SMART [Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking] detail and potential detail with OVW [Office on Violence Against Women], because of Goodling’s perception of the AUSA’s sexual orientation. The AUSA had done well in the detailee position in EOUSA, and was well qualified for the SMART detail, yet Goodling prevented the extension of her EOUSA detail and sought to prevent her from obtaining other details. Several witnesses provided credible testimony that one of the reasons for Goodling’s actions was the alleged sexual orientation of the AUSA.*
*Several witnesses told us that Goodling may have opposed the AUSA’s EOUSA detail extension, or her potential details to the SMART Office or to the OVW, in part because of the claim that the AUSA had benefited financially from the alleged relationship with her supervisor, the U.S. Attorney, by allegedly improperly receiving large bonuses and taking trips at government expense with the U.S. Attorney. Even if these allegations were true – and we reached no such conclusion – the other evidence described above indicates that Goodling’s actions were motivated at least in part by the AUSA’s alleged sexual orientation. Moreover, even if Goodling’s acts were based solely on the financial allegations, her actions would be wholly inappropriate. The allegations regarding the AUSA’s financial benefits were never formally investigated or even referred for investigation. Goodling’s actions, therefore, were based solely on unproven rumors."
The entire report is worth reading, because this is only the tip of some other nasty stuff Goodling did. I fear that Monica Goodling will ultimately be a scapegoat for the people truly responsible for this (a fish stinks from the head), but I will take a brief moment to rejoice that sometimes there is lesbian justice in the world.
. . . even though this report didn't recommend any sort of civil litigation against Goodling.
. . . and even though the Bush administration still has its hands in the DOJ.
. . . and even though there's no word that this female attorney--lesbian or not--ever got promoted or compensated or anything.
. . . and even though it's still cool to fire lesbians for being lesbians under this stupid-ass horrible ENDA that doesn't protect anyone [I'm looking at YOU, HRC].
Dammit; O.K., rejoicing over.