- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 1, 2012

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s chief of staff has resigned amid allegations of inappropriate behavior and potential sexual harassment, and congressional Republicans have vowed to conduct their own review of the Obama administration.

Suzanne Barr, who had been chief of staff for ICE, which is part of the Homeland Security Department, said the allegations against her were unfounded, but said she was stepping down to end the distraction her situation was causing her agency, she said in her resignation letter obtained by the Associated Press.

Rep. Peter T. King, New York Republican and chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said he will take a look at the situation.

“The resignation of Suzanne Barr raises the most serious questions about management practices and personnel policies at the Department of Homeland Security,” he said in a statement Saturday afternoon, and added, his committee will look at the department’s personnel practices “across the board.”

Ms. Barr had taken a leave of absence after agency employees last month charged that she had created a “frat-house” workplace environment.

ICE referred the complaints to internal investigators.

Ms. Barr had risen through the ranks with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, serving in her administration when she was governor of Arizona. Before that, Ms. Barr worked for the state’s two senators.

• Stephen Dinan can be reached at sdinan@washingtontimes.com.

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