The U.S. Secret Service agent who said she would not “take a bullet” for President Trump is not suffering the same punishment that other agents received for “similarly serious or lesser misconduct,” says a report from the Washington Free Beacon.
As WND reported, Kerry O’Grady made national headlines over her Facebook post that scorched Donald Trump when he was a candidate seeking the presidency.
“As a public servant for nearly 23 years, I struggle not to violate the Hatch Act. So I keep quiet and skirt the median,” O’Grady posted to her readers. “To do otherwise can be a criminal offense for those in my position. Despite the fact that I am expected to take a bullet for both sides.
“But this world has changed and I have changed. And I would take jail time over a bullet or an endorsement for what I believe to be disaster to this country and the strong and amazing women and minorities who reside here. Hatch Act be damned. I am with Her.”
“I am with Her” was a slogan used in 2016 by the failed Democratic Party nominee for president, Hillary Clinton.
On Inauguration Day, O’Grady updated her profile picture on Facebook with an artistic rendering of Princess Leia of “Star Wars” with the words: “A woman’s place is in the resistance.” Those opposing President Trump often refer to themselves as “the resistance.”
In March, O’Grady was removed from her position as head of the Secret Service’s Denver district as an investigation was already taking place into her comments. And now, six months after the agency’s probe began, O’Grady is still on paid administrative leave and retains her security clearance.
“Additionally,” the Free Beacon noted, “senior managers have never placed O’Grady on a ‘Do Not Admit’ list – an agency-wide notification that an employee whose conduct is under investigation is not allowed access to any Secret Service offices or resources, according to two former agents.”
The sources say the list not only protects the agency from those accused of serious misconduct and may pose a security threat, it also serves as a “shaming device” and an “intimidation tool” that “senior managers have inconsistently used in recent years against employees facing less-serious allegations of misconduct.”
WND reported in February that O’Grady was targeted for termination by the spouses of her fellow agents.
The family members posted an online petition addressed to Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy, calling for the agency to “act now and terminate [Special Agent in Charge] Kerry O’Grady from the duties she boldly stated she will not perform.”
“This petition is to make known the sincere concerns that many special agents’ wives, loved ones and American citizens have with the written statements made by Kerry O’Grady regarding her unwillingness to conduct herself in a professional manner and to uphold the oath she willingly took 23 years ago,” the petition states.
“Ms. O’Grady stated she will not defend our democracy. Her statements show an incredible lack of judgment that can not be tolerated so close to the heart of our government. The men and women of the US Secret Service are to conduct themselves above reproach, in a constant professional manner to complete the mission, regardless of who the protectee is or their politics. Ms. O’Grady has publicly aligned herself with the worst in our society, those who wish to bring harm on our leaders.”
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But the Free Beacon reports disciplinary cases against employees of federal law-enforcement agencies such as the Secret Service can take years to resolve, as workers have multiple layers of job protections and legal due-process rights.
Although O’Grady’s continued employment may not be out of the ordinary, some attorneys who have represented others in similar circumstances told the Beacon she has not faced some of the harsh sanctions imposed on many of their clients.
Sean Bigley, a partner at Bigley Ranish, told the Beacon that unpaid leave is typical, and it can last quite a while.
“All the clients I have are on unpaid administrative leave,” he said. “Then they have to sit around for a year cooling their heels before anything is proven. It’s very punitive.”
He noted one of his clients has been on unpaid for three years.
“His life has completely imploded,” Bigley said, explaining the man has lost his home and much of his life savings awaiting a final resolution.
The client has not been able to seek other employment because of his status as a Secret Service employee, and landing another job could jeopardize his case and any retirement funds.
Cheri Cannon, a partner at the law firm Tully Rinckey, said federal law-enforcement officers can get their security clearance pulled at least temporarily for a wide variety of reasons if senior managers want to force them out.
Cannon told the Free Beacon that managers at agencies such as the FBI and others have revoked security clearances for “having an affair in the workplace, mishandling personal finances, misusing the computer or government equipment, doing dumb things like making threats, lying during investigations.”
Several sources inside the Secret Service community fear O’Grady will keep her employment, and merely be shuffled to another division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.