10-14-2019  8:59 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Hank Willis Thomas Exhibit Opens at Portland Art Museum

One of the most important conceptual artists of our time, his works examine the representation of race and the politics of visual culture

Grocery Workers Union Ratifies Contract with Stores

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union has agreed a three-year contract for stores in Oregon and Southwest Washington

PCC Weighing Community Input on Workforce Training Center, Affordable Housing in Cully

Portland Community College is compiling the results of door-to-door and online surveys

Lawsuit Filed Against Hilton Hotels in “Calling His Mother While Black” Discrimination Case

Jermaine Massey was ousted from the DoubleTree Hotel in Portland where he was a guest and forced to find lodging at around midnight

NEWS BRIEFS

Protesters Rally in Ashland to Demand 'Impeach Trump Now'

Activists are rallying in Ashland Sunday Oct, 13 to demand impeachment proceedings ...

Black Women Help Kick off Sustainable Building Week

The event will be held at Portland’s first and only “green building” owned and operated by African-American women ...

Voter Registration Deadline for the November Special Election is Oct. 15 

The Special Election in Multnomah County will be held on Nov. 5, 2019 ...

Franklin High School’s Mercedes Muñoz Named Oregon Teacher of the Year

In a letter of recommendation, Muñoz was referred to as “a force of nurture.” ...

Founder of Black Panther Challenge Creates Brand To Support Mental Health

The launch comes during Mental Health Awareness Week. The creators say they want people around the world to know that they aren’t...

Oregon may allow BYO food containers in stores, restaurants

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon may soon allow customers to bring their own reusable food containers to grocery stores and restaurants in an effort to curb plastic waste.The Statesman Journal reports that's not currently allowed under U.S. Food and Drug Administration rules, which Oregon has...

Some states honoring indigenous people instead of Columbus

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A handful of states are celebrating their first Indigenous Peoples Day on Monday as part of a trend to move away from a day honoring Christopher Columbus.From Minnesota to Vermont, at least five states and Washington, D.C., have done away with Columbus Day...

Bryant bounces back to lead Missouri over Mississippi

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Last week, when he heard a pop in his left knee after being hit low, Missouri quarterback Kelly Bryant briefly saw his college football career pass before his eyes. The injury wasn't as bad as it looked, and Bryant played like his old self in a 38-27 victory over...

Missouri out to stop Ole Miss ground game in SEC matchup

Ole Miss coach Matt Luke has watched every game Missouri has played this season, and he was no doubt excited by the way Wyoming ran wild against the Tigers in their season opener.It should have portended good things for the Rebels' own vaunted rushing attack.But the more Luke looked at the video,...

OPINION

“Hell No!” That Is My Message to Those Who Would Divide Us 

Upon release from the South African jail, Nelson Mandela told UAW Local 600 members “It is you who have made the United States of America a superpower, a leader of the world" ...

Rep. Janelle Bynum Issues Response to the Latest Statement from Clackamas Town Center

State legislator questions official response after daughter questioned for ‘loitering’ in parking lot ...

Why Would HUD Gut Its Own Disparate Impact Rule?

"You can’t expand housing rights by limiting civil protections. The ’D’ in HUD doesn’t stand for ‘Discrimination’" ...

Despite U.S. Open Loss, Serena Williams Is Still the Greatest of All Time

Serena Williams lost her bid for what would have been her sixth U.S. Open Singles title ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Ole Miss honors student wears blackface, prompts warning

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — A University of Mississippi honors student has reported himself to the college for posting a photo online of him wearing blackface, prompting the school to issue a warning about costumes.Citing a school email, news outlets report the student told the college he...

Census Bureau seeks state data, including citizenship info

The U.S. Census Bureau is asking states for drivers' license records that typically include citizenship data and has made a new request for information on recipients of government assistance, alarming some civil rights advocates.The two approaches, documented by The Associated Press, come amid...

Queen Latifah to receive Harvard black culture award

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — Music artist and actress Queen Latifah is among the honorees being recognized by Harvard University this year for their contributions to black history and culture.Harvard is set to award the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal to Queen Latifah and six other recipients on Oct. 22,...

ENTERTAINMENT

Jessye Norman, opera icon, memorialized at hometown funeral

Jessye Norman's illustrious opera career and extraordinary artistry was honored at her public funeral. So was Jessye Norman the loyal friend, the humanitarian, the teacher and the person not only celebrated for her golden voice, but for her heart of gold.Several speakers at Saturday's four-hour...

Queen Latifah to receive Harvard black culture award

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — Music artist and actress Queen Latifah is among the honorees being recognized by Harvard University this year for their contributions to black history and culture.Harvard is set to award the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal to Queen Latifah and six other recipients on Oct. 22,...

Book by Fusion GPS founders coming out next month

NEW YORK (AP) — The co-founders of a political research firm behind allegations about President Donald Trump's ties to Russia have a book coming out next month.Random House announced Monday that "Crime in Progress: Inside the Steele Dossier and the Fusion GPS Investigation of Donald Trump"...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Hong Kong police say homemade bomb targeted officers

HONG KONG (AP) — A homemade, remote-controlled bomb intended to "kill or to harm" riot control officers was...

Japan looks for missing after typhoon kills dozens

NAGANO, Japan (AP) — Rescue crews dug through mudslides and searched near swollen rivers Monday as they...

Census Bureau seeks state data, including citizenship info

The U.S. Census Bureau is asking states for drivers' license records that typically include citizenship data and...

Haiti's embattled president faces 5th week of protests

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti's embattled president faced a fifth week of protests on Monday as road...

Trump says he'll look into case after Fox appearance

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says he'll "be looking into" the case of a U.S. financial adviser...

Hong Kong police say homemade bomb targeted officers

HONG KONG (AP) — A homemade, remote-controlled bomb intended to "kill or to harm" riot control officers was...

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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