Why would a woman stand as a lone picketer, in professional business attire, outside Transportation Security Administration headquarters offices on a hot day, with a sign claiming “no justice”?
Why would 100,000 people sign a petition calling on the White House to remove National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis for not acting on employee misconduct? I mean, he just published a book on the beauties of the nation’s magnificent park system.
The answer is simple: Sex.
More accurately, sexual harassment or other misbehavior involving sex.
In the federal government these days, instances of sexual misbehavior are like dandelions. You spot one, then suddenly you see them all over the lawn.
The woman in the picture is Alyssa Bermudez, an Army veteran who served in Iraq. She was a geospatial intelligence specialist. Her story is complicated, but here’s the gist of it. At the TSA, where she was an administrative support person in the Office of Intelligence and Analysis (OIA), she claimed repeated sexual harassment by a fellow employee. In her complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Bermudez said she found herself moved to a different office doing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, put on administrative leave, then detailed to the Office of Security Operations. From there, she was fired five days before her year-long probationary period came to an end, on April 30, 2015. Yet a performance evaluation dated Sept. 30, 2014 shows her receiving a 4.8 out of 5.0, which qualifies as having “achieved excellence.” The termination letter, from John Beattie, the executive director of her home office OIA, described a person who could barely get along with anyone.
She has also filed an Office of Special Counsel complaint against then-OIS Deputy Assistant Administrator Eric Sarandrea for the dismissal.