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D.C. labor board chief resigns over residency, cites discrimination
Question of the Day
Mr. Harris, a former deputy chief of employment litigation in the Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department, stated in his letter that he was offended on multiple other occasions, including when Mr. Wasserman would “gleefully” agree with Vice President Joseph R. Biden’s infamous remark that the Romney-Ryan presidential ticket would “put y’all back in chains,” and when Ms. Hoffman commented that “The military is full of people belonging to white supremacist groups.”
Ms. Hoffman did not respond to requests for comment and Mr. Wasserman referred questions to PERB’s legal counsel.
“I vehemently opposed those illegal, unconstitutional and discriminatory comments and hiring demands,” Mr. Harris‘ letter states. When asked to comment on the allegations, Mr. Harris replied, “I think the letter speaks for itself.”
After the Nov. 8 executive session, Mr. Harris sought advice from PERB General Counsel Keturah Denise Harley, according to a memo obtained by The Times. In her extensively documented legal memo, Ms. Harley concluded that “it is intrinsically illegal for the board to consider hiring or not hiring a potential employee because of their race.”
“It is illegal and discriminatory for Board Members Wasserman and Hoffman to request that the executive director avoid hiring an employee on the basis of their possible political affiliation,” the memo continues.
Of Mr. Harris‘ residency status, she said he informed the board on April 30 that he lived in Virginia, and that after he responded to the board’s order to show cause he resigned. “The board is concerned with residency laws because it’s important,” she said.
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