02-28-2020  10:41 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

PHOTOS: Elizabeth Warren Rallies in Seattle

Washington state’s primary is Tuesday, March 10; voters should have received their ballots by Thursday, Feb. 27

Support for Black Reparations Grows in Congress

The Commission to Study and Develop Reparations Proposals for African-Americans Act now has 125 cosponsors

Shifting Demographics Drive GOP Nosedive on US West Coast

Political districts have flipped in population centers, from San Diego in the south to Seattle in the north

'A World of Hurt': 39 States to Investigate JUUL's Marketing

Oregon is one of five states leading a bipartisan coalition looking into JUUL’s targeting of youth vaping

NEWS BRIEFS

Washington’s March 10 Presidential Primary Ballots Mailed to Voters

Voters required to make party declaration for this election only ...

State and Federal Agencies Aid Sunken Tugboat in Columbia River

Divers plugged fuel vents this afternoon and the vessel is not actively leaking ...

Multnomah County Promotes Voter Education Project

Multnomah County is partnering with National Association of Secretary of States (NASS) to promote #TRUSTEDINFO2020 ...

New Travel Ban Takes Effect, National Groups Respond

The expansion of the Muslim ban targets more Black immigrants ...

Harris, Booker Applaud House For Announcing Vote on Anti-Lynching Legislation

After passing the House, the bill will head to the president’s desk to be signed into law ...

Feds reject removal of 4 Snake River dams in key report

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A long-awaited federal report out Friday rejected the idea of removing four hydroelectric dams on a major Pacific Northwest river in a last-ditch effort to save more than a dozen species of threatened or endangered salmon, saying such a dramatic approach would...

High school closed a second day over new virus concerns

A suburban Seattle high school was closed for a second consecutive day on Friday after a staffer's family member was placed in quarantine over concerns about new virus that started in China.Northshore School District Superintendent Michelle Reid said in a letter to parents that Bothell High School...

Former AD, All-American center Dick Tamburo dies at 90

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Dick Tamburo, an athletic director at three major schools and an All-American center at Michigan State, has died. He was 90.Michigan State announced that Tamburo died Monday.A native of New Kensington, Pennsylvania, Tamburo served as the athletic director at Texas...

OPINION

Black America is Facing a Housing Crisis

As the cost of housing soars the homeless population jumps 12 percent, the number of people renting grows and homeownership falls ...

Trump Expands Muslim Ban to Target Africans

Under the new ban on countries, four out of five people who will be excluded are Africans ...

Martin Luther King Day is an Opportunity for Service

Find out where you can volunteer and make a difference to the community ...

Looking to 2020 — Put Your Vote to WORK!

Ronald Reagan, who turned his back on organized labor and started America’s middle-class into a tailspin, has recently been voted by this administration’s NLRB into the Labor Hall of Fame ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

House approves bill to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes

WASHINGTON (AP) — Moving to stem a vaping epidemic among young people, the House has approved a bill to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes and other flavored tobacco products.The bill would place new restrictions on the marketing of e-cigarettes and ban flavors in tobacco products,...

Superintendent: Prop at Black History Month event was wrong

Oklahoma City's school superintendent has apologized after a cardboard photo frame emblazoned with watermelons was used at a high school's Black History Month event celebrating soul food.The oversized frame that attendees could hold while posing for photos was used during the Feb. 20 soul food...

Balmain celebrates diversity and twists classicism in Paris

PARIS (AP) — Usher unleashed a photographer's battle at Balmain on Friday, as he appeared at Paris Fashion Week alongside towering model Cindy Bruna. The designer, Olivier Rousteing said of the typically glamazon-filled fashion collection, that it was a celebration of his personal journey....

ENTERTAINMENT

Nazi cautionary dramas wade into political, factual disputes

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Hollywood mustered its creative forces in the 1940s when Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany sought to conquer the world, with Humphrey Bogart standing up to the fascist regime in “Casablanca” and director Ernst Lubitsch mocking it and its dictator in “To Be...

Balmain celebrates diversity and twists classicism in Paris

PARIS (AP) — Usher unleashed a photographer's battle at Balmain on Friday, as he appeared at Paris Fashion Week alongside towering model Cindy Bruna. The designer, Olivier Rousteing said of the typically glamazon-filled fashion collection, that it was a celebration of his personal journey....

Weinstein juror: #MeToo movement was not a factor in trial

NEW YORK (AP) — The jury that convicted Harvey Weinstein of rape and sex assault did not consider the trial's implications for the #MeToo movement, one of the jurors said in an interview aired Friday.“No, zero, absolutely zero,” juror Drew Malbin said on “CBS This...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Biggest explosion seen in universe came from black hole

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Astronomers have discovered the biggest explosion seen in the universe,...

Feds reject removal of 4 Snake River dams in key report

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A long-awaited federal report out Friday rejected the idea of removing four...

Sanders' appeal tested in moderate Virginia on Super Tuesday

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Rep. Elaine Luria is the kind of up-and-comer the Democratic Party would like to keep...

Dominican Republic turns back cruise ship amid virus fears

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) — A cruise ship heading to the Dominican Republic to disembark...

What's happening: Virus fears hit Africa, markets, churches

PARIS (AP) — Amusement parks, sports events, religious gatherings, even school. More and more things in a...

Parents of 'terrified' Africans stranded in China want help

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — She wakes every day long before dawn to chat with her three stranded daughters on...

McMenamins
Susan Candiotti. Ross Levitt and Carol Cratty CNN

(CNN) -- Fallout from a job discrimination lawsuit filed by the head of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in New York has led to at least a temporary shakeup at the agency's headquarters in Washington.

Suzanne Barr, chief of staff for ICE Director John Morton, voluntarily stepped down this week and is on paid leave because of allegations made against her as part of an ongoing civil suit filed by New York ICE chief James Hayes.

In the suit, which is leveled at the Department of Homeland Security and DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, Hayes claims he was passed over for promotions in favor of less-qualified women, some of whom used to work for Napolitano when she was governor of Arizona. As part of his lawsuit, Hayes cites behavior by Barr in an attempt to prove an alleged culture of sexual discrimination against men, according to Hayes' lawyer, Morris Fischer of Maryland.

In his lawsuit filed in federal court in Washington last May, Hayes says Barr "created a frat house-type atmosphere that is targeted to humiliate and intimidate male employees."

ICE Public Affairs Director Brian Hale said in a written statement this week that "ICE has referred these allegations to the DHS Office of Inspector General and the ICE Office of Professional Responsibility for review. Ms. Barr has voluntarily placed herself on leave pending the outcome of this review."

A federal official calls the allegations about Barr "serious."

In his lawsuit, Hayes also cites Dora Schriro, who was appointed to serve as special adviser to Napolitano on detention and removal, and immigration and customs enforcement; and as director of the office of detention policy and planning. After about a year, Schriro left DHS in September 2009 after being recruited to run New York City's Department of Corrections.

Hayes claims Schriro was not qualified for her DHS appointment because she lacked experience running a federal law enforcement department. Previously, Schriro served as head of both Missouri's and Arizona's Department of Corrections. In the mid 1980's, she was Assistant Commissioner of Corrections.

In the lawsuit, Hayes blames Barr for "sexually offensive behavior." In one alleged incident, Hayes says Barr called a male employee at a hotel and screamed at him using crude language to say she wanted to have sex with him. Hayes also states Barr moved the office contents of three male employees into a men's bathroom at ICE headquarters in 2009.

After his client's lawsuit was filed, Fischer says he was contacted by other federal employees who heard about Hayes' claim. They provided affidavits to Hayes and his lawyer alleging more sexually charged comments made by Barr, according to Fischer.

"We've been getting calls and e-mails from all over the country from people who want to come forward with information that may be helpful on this case," Fischer told CNN.

In an affidavit provided to CNN, another ICE employee describes a 2009 meeting in the office of ICE Director Morton during which employees were discussing personal plans for Halloween. The male employee says he overheard Barr ask a "senior ICE employee" about the size of his genitals. "You're a sexy mother-(expletive)," she allegedly said.

Over 17 years, Hayes rose through the ranks from Border Patrol agent to a top position at headquarters in charge of Detention and Removal Operations, overseeing a $2.5 billion budget, his lawsuit states. Hayes claims he was removed from that job because of gender discrimination.

Hayes is suing to recover $335,000 in moving costs and lost bonuses he says he incurred when he was transferred to New York in 2009 from Washington

His lawyer says other ICE employees have been reimbursed for similar expenses.

His lawsuit also claims he faced retaliation after threatening to file an Equal Opportunity Claim against DHS and cites six internal investigations which were all unfounded.

However, all but one of those investigations against him involving complaints by fellow employees were initially filed before Napolitano took office in 2008.

In his court documents, Hayes says the complaints were reviewed after he began complaining.

Hayes' lawsuit is filled with "false and unsubstantiated" allegations against Barr and other DHS employees, according to a federal official who defended ICE as an agency of "dedicated law enforcement professionals."

Hayes' allegations "do not align with the fact that Mr. Hayes has routinely held high-ranking assignments, including his current position as head of ICE's second largest field office in New York, the official added.

DHS plans to file a motion to dismiss the lawsuit before the end of next week, the official said.

Barr could not be reached for comment.

Schriro was on vacation Thursday, but a spokeswoman for New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's office issued a statement on her behalf and also praised Schriro's work.

"In an arena that has historically been run by men, Commissioner Schriro is proud to have served a combined 14 years as the first woman Director of Correction for the States of Missouri and Arizona. Her selection and service at DHS were based on merit," Samantha Levine, deputy press secretary in Bloomberg's office, said in the statement.

"(Schriro) served with distinction in Washington, D.C., and New York City is fortunate to have her as our Department of Correction Commissioner."

Hayes declined comment on his lawsuit. His lawyer indicated Hayes would like to stay with DHS and issued a statement calling his client a victim of "frat house behavior."

In the same statement, Hayes' lawyer is asking the House subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Management of DHS for a bipartisan investigation.

Mike Rosen, a spokesman for Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, chairman of the subcommittee, called Hayes' allegations "certainly of interest." He says the subcommittee is launching its own investigation and added DHS's management and leadership has been the subject of five previous hearings by the subcommittee.

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