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Veterans Affairs official who almost became director had to resign over sexual harassment, racial slurs

Thursday, Aug 22, 2019

* Hannah Meisel…


* More deets

The report also details instances of Sawyer’s alleged use of racial slurs and racially insensitive language.

In August 2017, Sawyer allegedly had been upset with an employee’s job performance, which he described as being inadequate.

“All n—–s stick together,” Sawyer allegedly said, also referring to what he allegedly called a “‘sisterhood’ of African American women within IDVA protecting each other.”

On another occasion in late 2017 or early 2018, Sawyer allegedly referred to an employee with the N-word while he berated her for not being able to fill out a travel reimbursement voucher for Sawyer “in a correct and timely manner.”

Man, the storm that would’ve hit Rauner if that guy had been appointed director. Whew. They dodged a big bullet over there.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

14 Comments
  1. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Thursday, Aug 22, 19 @ 1:13 pm:

    ==Sawyer allegedly referred to an employee with the N-word while he berated her for not being able to fill out a travel reimbursement voucher for Sawyer “in a correct and timely manner.”==

    Clearly a *superstar*, and prime candidate for the Best Team in America


  2. - Nuke the Whales - Thursday, Aug 22, 19 @ 1:54 pm:

    ==Is Hannah deflecting yesterday’s release of the report on former COS Tim Mapes? Maybe doing a comparison to suggest a former state interim appointee was worse? Just wondering…==
    No, but clearly you’re doing some deflecting of your own. Two things can both be bad in different ways.


  3. - Pisces 87 - Thursday, Aug 22, 19 @ 1:58 pm:

    ==Man, the storm that would’ve hit Rauner if that guy had been appointed director==

    Rauner appointees caused an Attorney General opinion this month too.


  4. - Ret Combat Vet - Thursday, Aug 22, 19 @ 2:02 pm:

    I’ve know Harry and other senior management at IDVA for many years. I take this with a grain of salt.

    Harry was for years a union worker, and finally made the switch to management at the start of the Rauner administration. That was his real problem.

    The department has for years had a lot of union-management issues (look at Tammy Duckworth’s meritless IDVA employee issues as an example), with charges flying back and forth between both sides. In that hyper-charged atmosphere, he may have been able to serve in an interim capacity, and he did for a while, but he know he would never be confirmed to a higher position.

    Harry was a first-class act. I take these accusations with a grain of salt.


  5. - Gee - Thursday, Aug 22, 19 @ 2:18 pm:

    These accusations were founded in both an internal investigation and an IG investigation. But, I’m glad to know you take it with a grain of salt


  6. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Thursday, Aug 22, 19 @ 2:19 pm:

    ==Harry was a first-class act.==
    And
    ==“All n—–s stick together”==

    Those two things don’t go together.


  7. - Ret Combat Vet - Thursday, Aug 22, 19 @ 2:36 pm:

    You can believe what you want, but founded is not the same as established or proven.

    The standard in American jurisprudence is under oath, in open court, and subject to cross examination. OEIG statements do not meet this standard.


  8. - @misterjayem - Thursday, Aug 22, 19 @ 2:40 pm:

    “Is Hannah deflecting yesterday’s release of the report on former COS Tim Mapes? Maybe doing a comparison to suggest a former state interim appointee was worse?”

    Is this one of the silliest conspiracy theories to ever appear on CapFax? Maybe a simple combination of deflecting plus projecting?

    – MrJM


  9. - Moira - Thursday, Aug 22, 19 @ 3:07 pm:

    ==The standard in American jurisprudence is under oath, in open court, and subject to cross examination. OEIG statements do not meet this standard.==

    The standard for what? Criminal conviction? A civil lawsuit? That’s not what’s going on here.

    One of the lessons of MeToo is that, sure there are the guys that everyone knows are creeps. But there are also the guys that, when this stuff comes out, some of their coworkers seem genuinely shocked and have a hard time reconciling it with the man they know.

    That’s because they didn’t act this way around everyone. Just the people they thought they could get away with targeting

    He may have always been a “class act” around you, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t do any of this. I truly do sympathize that reconciling that about somebody you hold in high esteem would be very difficult, but it’s certainly not proof that these findings are inaccurate.


  10. - JT - Thursday, Aug 22, 19 @ 4:09 pm:

    Very well said, Moira. I had a boss once that a few of us referred to as Dr. Jekyll for the way he acted in front of one group of people versus Mr. Hyde for the way he acted in front of a different group.


  11. - Thomas Paine - Thursday, Aug 22, 19 @ 4:24 pm:

    === Is Hannah deflecting yesterday’s release of the report on former COS Tim Mapes? ===

    The Inspector General’s report on Harry Sawyer was released yesterday too, Inspector Clouseau.

    Maybe before you drag the reputation of a journalist through the mud and accuse her of trying to throw shade on the #MeToo movement you ought to apply one dram of Common Sense, if you had any.

    This is the part of the thread where you apologize, @Commonsense in Illinois, if you’ve a dram of decency.


  12. - Cubs in '16 - Thursday, Aug 22, 19 @ 5:52 pm:

    ===They dodged a big bullet over there.===

    In light of the drubbing the Administration took before and after the election, did dodging this bullet really matter? It may have just played into the “as a white male” comment.


  13. - Patty T - Friday, Aug 23, 19 @ 6:49 am:

    Inferring that more than one person stated they heard him use racially offensive language plus sexual harassment. Completely unacceptable & no one should care what a great guy he was otherwise.


  14. - Tired in Illinois - Friday, Aug 23, 19 @ 8:37 am:

    This stuff is currently going on in the new administration. Misogynistic, harassing and discriminatory behavior happens on BOTH sides of the aisle and still happening with men in power looking the other way. You know who you are.


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