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Napolitano aide quits ICE over sex claim

WASHINGTON -- A senior Obama administration political appointee and longtime aide to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano resigned Saturday amid allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior lodged by at least three Immigration and Customs Enforcement employees.

Suzanne Barr, chief of staff to ICE Director John Morton, said in her resignation letter that the allegations against her were "unfounded." But she said she was stepping down to end distractions within the agency. ICE, a division of the Homeland Security Department, confirmed Barr had resigned. The Associated Press obtained a copy of Barr's letter.

Barr is accused of sexually inappropriate behavior toward employees. The complaints are related to a sexual discrimination and retaliation lawsuit filed by a senior ICE agent in May.

In her letter to Morton, Barr said she has been the subject of "unfounded allegations designed to destroy my reputation."

Barr went on leave last month after published reports of the lawsuit filed by James T. Hayes Jr., ICE's special agent in charge in New York. Other employees came forward with their allegations around the same time.

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