US Attorney: I Was Fired Over Gay Rumors

Official speaks out after damning report on key Gonzales aides
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 29, 2008 10:37 AM CDT
In this May 23, 2007, file photo, former Justice Department White House liaison Monica Goodling testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – One of the US attorneys fired in the 2006 sweep by Alberto Gonzales' Justice Department says she believes rumors of a lesbian relationship with a top prosecutor cost her the job and derailed the prosecutor’s career. “I am persuaded with deep regret that this is what was the basis,” Margaret Chiara told the Los Angeles Times after yesterday’s damning report by the department’s inspector general.

The Justice Department report stated that aide Monica Goodling, who has already admitted letting political factors influence her hiring decisions, used the search words “gay” and “homosexual” to screen candidates—a clear violation of federal anti-discrimination law. “I could not begin to understand how I found myself sharing the misfortune of my former colleagues,” Chiara said. “Now I understand.”