Update: ICE Chief of Staff Resigns

| September 4, 2012

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about apparent issues with senior leadership at DHS.  Well, it looks like one of the individuals at DHS accused of seriously lewd and inappropriate behavior around subordinates – ICE Chief of Staff Suzanne Barr –  has resigned.

In resigning Barr denied any wrongdoing. Rather, Barr indicated she was resigning in order to “prevent further harm to the agency and to prevent this from further distracting from our critical work.”

Yeah, right. Given what’s recently been made public concerning her, um, . .  . , “uninhibited” conduct around subordinates in redacted copies of affidavits, I just don’t think I’m ready to buy that.

Looks to me more likely that Ms. Barr was acting like the Chapter President of the equivalent of a female “Animal House” rather than a senior government official, got caught red-handed, and was “asked” to resign to limit the damage.  But I guess I could be wrong.

Best of luck in your future private-sector employment search, Ms. Barr.

Category: Politics

Comments (35)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I’ll bet hard earned miney that she’ll land herself another Government position…I see it happen in my organization. It seems if you have GS tenure, you just get shuffled around.

  2. CI says:

    Dammit….#1 was me.

  3. OWB says:

    Private-sector employment? These clowns have no interest in actually working for a living.

  4. Hondo says:

    CI: I’d guess the ICE CofS position is an SES political appointee. I don’t believe folks in those positions acquire career status, regardless of how long they serve.

    Frankly, even if she has personal competitive status (from prior govt competitive service employment) she’s probably radioactive enough that she can forget about future government service in other than a political appointee role or low-level position. Very few senior government managers are going to hire someone with that kind of track record to any government managerial or supervisory position.

  5. Claymore says:

    This is what everyone really wants; to get a drunken late night call from your female boss offering to service your crank for you. Nice.

  6. Loach says:

    Sounds a lot more fun than most places I’ve worked.

  7. Hondo says:

    Addendum: yep, looks like the ICE CofS is a noncareer SES position. Barring personal standing through previous competitive service employment, looks like she’s out of luck in moving to another government service job without going through the normal hiring process. And if she tries – well, after this fiasco “good luck wit dat.”


  8. CI says:

    @Hondo – You’re likely correct. I forgot that SES in another universe entirely.

  9. NHSparky says:

    “Would you like fries with that?” will be a oft-repeated line in her future “career.”

  10. Claymore says:

    Ms. Barr will probably look pretty good in a Waffle House uniform…she’s already for the skank attitude for the job.

  11. Hondo says:

    CI: might not have mattered if she was GS. There are a fair number of Schedule C (political appointee) GS positions also; hers just happened to be SES. Those jobs also appear to lack the status/protections found in the competitive civil service.

  12. Elric says:

    She’ll make more as some sort of consultant no doubt. With that kind of record maybe she could run for Congress.

  13. 2-17 AirCav says:

    Well, I guess I’ll be alone on this matter but, frankly, I find it rather refreshing that this time it was a female who allegedly was the sexual aggressor. If she had been a lower-level employee, I doubt much of anything would have come of her purported overtures or potty talk. To me, it’s akin to the occasional story regarding the female teacher who beds a 16 or 17 yr old male student. It strikes me as fantasy fulfillment not statutory rape. But then, I’m not only old but old school as well.

  14. Al T. says:

    Anybody got her phone number?

  15. 2-17 AirCav says:

    @14. Ha, ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha….

  16. Hondo says:

    I’m old-school too, 2-17 AirCav. But some things just don’t seem to belong in the workplace, whether military or civilian. IMO a supervisor blatantly and explicitly propositioning and/or making sexually-explicit, uninvited comments towards multiple subordinates seems to fall in that category – regardless of gender.

  17. 2-17 AirCav says:

    I stopped paying attention to that stuff when the garages and machine shops removed the girlie calendars. As for workplaces and sexual banter, can you name one where it does not occur? If someone is threatened or rewarded at the workplace (outside of a strip joint,brothel, or Hollywood studio that is) for sexual favors, I can see hanging the culprit. Otherwise, not. I knew I would be alone on this and that’s okay. You are espousing the majority position and I the neanderthal’s. I get it.

  18. EODMAN says:

    Fox reported over the weekend that Ms. Barr was affiliated with Janet Napolitano, when the latter was GOV of Arizona.

  19. Hondo says:

    2-17 AirCav – I’ve got no problem with a reasonable degree of banter and innuendo either. And I also think the “PC police” are out of control on the issue; any mixed-gender environment will have some degree of such banter and tension. That’s normal and natural.

    But what Barr’s alleged to have done is way beyond normal and natural banter. A supervisor asking one of his/her male employees, “How long is it, anyway” while looking at the employee’s crotch seems . . . . well, way out of line. As does openly offering to perform fellatio on a subordinate in a drunken social setting. Per published accounts, Barr’s alleged to have done both.

  20. 2-17 AirCav says:

    Speaking of Clinton, Hondo, one wonders what would have happened if this had occurred during his administration. Would she have been transferred to the White House as a very special assistant to the president?

  21. defendUSA says:

    Back in the day…1983-ish…I took alot of ribbing for being well-endowed and vertically challenged– not just from my platoon guys, but the CO, too. We were a close-knit group and I never considered it as anything other than fun.

    I also understood that threats or “offers” were out of line, completely and had no problem saying so and going up the chain.
    The ribbings I took would today be considered bad and get people in trouble, which is a shame because sometimes as annoying and funny as it was, it helped build some trust and camaraderie among us.

    I could call any one of them today and know they have my back. Ten seconds into it, I would get the ribbing. Ah, the good old days! That said, Barr’s actions are all wrong and she must deal with the blowback…oops, no pun intended.

  22. Elric says:

    Hondo, 2-17 AC: I agree that there is a a middle ground between playful banter and crossing the line. Usually any suggestion of reward/punishment or continuing to press someone who has told you that such talk makes them uncomfortable crosses the line. But as a director and senior leader organization you are held to a much higher standard. We expect and should demand our leaders demonstrate the organizational values that supposedly apply to all members. Her behavior was juvenile, narcissistic, and no doubt offensive to many who were afraid to speak out. Just because peers and subordinates don’t lodge complaints doesn’t mean her actions weren’t offensive. That is becoming very clear after the fact. That she did not even have the self discipline to not run her mouth speaks volumes about her judgement… poor judgement that no doubt was reflected in many decisions that affected the organization and mission.

  23. Hondo says:

    Elric: can’t argue with anything you said. And I believe this and the previous article said essentially the same thing you did.

    The Chief of Staff for ICE is decidedly not the same “gig” as being president of a college frat/sorority chapter. And Barr appears to have been acting far more like the latter than the former.

  24. Ex-PH2 says:

    There’s a huge difference between some sailor telling me all I need is an Italian lover and what this silly broad did.

    But I have the perfect jobs for her: waitress at Hooters after a boob job, or lap dancer on the strip at Las Vegas.

    I hear the tips are really good.

  25. Elric says:

    @23 Hondo- I wonder whatever happened to Eric Stratton Rush Chairman?

  26. Hondo says:

    Elric: according to the movie, he eventually became a gynecologist in Beverly Hills. (smile)

  27. Common Sense says:

    To add a little female perspective, in a mixed-gender environment, mild flirting is acceptable IF both parties agreed (No and Stop mean No and Stop). Sexual banter as you put it, is not professional and makes most women uncomfortable, I imagine that if it comes from a boss it would be even worse, even for men. Also, it’s NOT about sex, it’s about power and she has the power. Wow! I think I heard that in a movie 😉

    I work in the male-dominated world of IT and have no problem with letting boys be boys, within reason. Most of the men I’ve worked with have been polite and professional, even when I’m not around.

    These days, since I’m much older than most of them, it’s probably like having their mother around so that may be part of their politeness.

    What’s acceptable in the trenches or a garage or a single-gender environment is usually unacceptable in an office environment. You have to tailor your behavior to your audience and environment. That goes for the girls too.

  28. UpNorth says:

    AL, @14, you got it wrong, she has to call you. It’s the only way it works for her.
    I believe you can send her your number, care of the DNC or Obama for America. They’ll make sure it gets to her.

  29. Elric says:

    Hondo- Senator Blutarski approves.

  30. Green Thumb says:

    This woman is a real piece of work.

    If a man had behaved the way she did he would be fired and possibly in jail, a lot quicker than it took her to resign.

  31. MCPO NYC USN (Ret.) says:

    OK. I used to work for ICE, so I know alot of ICE agents etc blah blah blah. This POL APPOINTEE Susanne “Pour Me Another Drink and While we are at it, How Big is your Tool” Barr was legendary. The SAC of ICE NY Field Office is the one who took her out. Good one him. She was a know binge drinker, flithy mouthed, 78% not attractive, not well liked, crew member of USS Janet Napotilano from AZ, whose face is as ugly as a bucket full of mortal sins. She makes the bartenders at “Hogs and Heifers” seem like sheltered librarians.

  32. Hondo says:

    Elric: He does? Maybe he has a job on his staff that needs filling. Heard of anyone looking for work? (smile)

  33. MCPO NYC USN (Ret.) says:

    A little Arizona history

    The name Suzanne Barr has been in the news recently, but how many know her Arizona background?

    Her father was longtime Arizona House Speaker and legislative member Burton Barr who represented north central Phoenix — then known as District 18 — for twenty-two years from 1964 to 1986. In a political world far removed from todays, Barr was the Republican majority leader for twenty of those years. In today’s lingo, he would be known as a RINO. In those days, he was called a “compromiser.” The main Phoenix library on Central Avenue bears his name.

    Burt Barr passed away in 1997. Few remember that the confident politico lost his last election to conservative Evan Mecham, who in 1986 succeeded in trouncing the stunned Barr to win the governorship.

    Barr’s daughter Suzanne has recently been in the news herself. But not in a context that would have pleased her witty but straitlaced father. Suzanne has been named as a central figure in the sex scandal lawsuit rocking the Department of Homeland Security. And not unlike her aisle crossing father, Suzanne Barr, worked as liberal Janet Napolitano’s chief of staff at Immigration and Customs Enforcement, where — according to court documents — she appeared to delight in engaging in “numerous” acts of “sexually offensive behavior” intended to “humiliate and intimidate male employees.” The 21-page complaint, complete with lurid details filed May 21, 2012 can be read here. (Courtesy of Debbie Schlussel).

    Before becoming chief of staff in January 2009, the Arizona native served in then-Governor Janet Napolitano’s office, working as deputy director and director of legislative affairs. As director of legislative affairs, Barr was responsible for the governor’s legislative agenda and oversaw the legislative proposals of all state agencies. She also served as the governor’s policy advisor on law enforcement issues, overseeing all state law enforcement agencies. Like Napolitano, she holds a law degree.

    According to this report on FOX News, Suzanne Barr has “voluntarily placed herself on leave” amid new allegations of lewd conduct which have surfaced. Republicans would have preferred to see former Arizona Governor Napolitano and her incompetent, raunchy gal pals out the door for partisan incompetence.

    But this will do.

    September 2, 2012 — Suzanne Barr resigns as Chief of Staff amid sex scandal rocking ICE.

  34. Yat Yas 1833 says:

    Master Chief, I knew Mr. Barr. Even though mom wasn’t as active, politically, many politicos still dropped by for a visit. Slutzanne was bad back then and seems to have only gotten worse. Mr. Barr was a good man. He must be doing 3,000 RPMs in his grave. I feel bad for his memory.

  35. Chip@NASA says:

    @31 MCPO NYC USN (Ret.),
    So, what you’re saying is she’s not hot?