We wrote late Monday about the possibility of Margaret Chiara, one of the the nine fired U.S. attorneys, being dismissed over the rumors that she was in a lesbian relationship with assistant U.S. Attorney Leslie Hagen. The OIG report released on Monday morning disclosed that Hagen was refused a promotion at Main Justice after Monica Goodling got wind of stories about her alleged sexual orientation and her rumored relationship with Chiara.
In a statement yesterday to the Los Angeles Times, Chiara stated she agreed that the stories were the source of her firing:
“I could not begin to understand how I found myself sharing the misfortune of my former colleagues,” Chiara said of the eight other U.S. attorneys who were fired. “Now I understand.”
Justice officials said after her firing that Chiara was let go because of mismanagement and because she had caused morale in her office to sink. Chiara said Monday she believed those concerns were raised by the same people who spread rumors about her and Hagen.
“I guess now I am persuaded with deep regret that this is what was the basis,” she added. “There is nothing else.”
The next phase of Inspector General’s report is due out any day now. Maybe it will shed more light on the issue of why Chiara, and the other dismissed U.S. attorneys, lost their presidential appointments.