Homeland Security official takes leave amid sexual harassment allegations

By Michael Isikoff

NBC News

A top aide to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has stepped aside after department officials received new allegations that she made lewd and sexually charged comments to subordinates.

Suzanne Barr, the chief of the staff of Homeland Security’s Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, has “voluntary placed herself on leave” pending the outcome of a review by Homeland Security’s Inspector General and Office of Professional Responsibility, department spokesman Brian Hale said in a statement.

The move comes a day after lawyers for James Hayes, the director of the ICE office in New York, sent government lawyers sworn affidavits from two ICE officials describing allegedly improper conduct by Barr.

(Barr is the daughter of the late Burton Barr, long-time member of the Arizona House of Representatives.)


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