GAO Sued

Posted January 24, 2007 at 6:59pm

A former Government Accountability Office employee filed a discrimination lawsuit against the agency last week, alleging he was fired because of his race and gender.

According to the lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Jan. 17, Omar Beyah worked for the agency for about a year before he was fired in September 2004.[IMGCAP(1)]

At the time, the agency told him that he was being fired because of his “failure to perform satisfactorily,” according to the suit. But Beyah argues he had been discriminated against during his entire time at the GAO, and when he stood up for himself, he was sacked. A phone call to an agency spokesman was not returned.

Beyah is asking to be reinstated and also is seeking compensation and back pay.

Search Away. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite (R-Fla.) has reintroduced a resolution “expressing the sense of the House” that Members should not be “immune” to searches of their House offices in a criminal case.

In a Jan. 18 “Dear Colleague” letter, Brown-Waite argued that “there should be no cause for denying legitimate access to a Member’s office if that is where evidence in a criminal investigation leads.”

The resolution, which is nonbinding, has drawn 11 co-sponsors, all of them Republicans. Brown-Waite initially introduced the resolution last spring after the fight between the House leadership and the Justice Department over the search of Rep. William Jefferson’s (D-La.) office.

Her measure had 27 co-sponsors then, but many of them lost in the midterms, said Brown-Waite spokesman Charlie Keller. He admitted that the resolution was likely to go nowhere but added that Brown-Waite was taking a stand anyway and continuing to search for supporters.

“Many of the new Members ran on ending the culture of corruption,” Keller said. It’s the “perfect opportunity to say, ‘Look, we’re the same as anyone else.’”

Leach Takes Princeton Post. After 30 years in the House, ex-Rep. Jim Leach (R-Iowa) is returning to his alma mater.

The Iowan has accepted a three-semester appointment to the staff of Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and will serve as the John L. Weinberg/Goldman Sachs and Co. Visiting Professor of Public and International Affairs through June 2008. His first class will be a graduate course, “The Intersection of Chinese and U.S. Foreign Policy.”

— Elizabeth Brotherton, Rachel Van Dongen and Evan Haine-Roberts