Investigations of misbehavior by government officials too often end once they resign, frequently allowing them to maintain their innocence. Suzanne Barr, formerly chief of staff at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, did just that.
Barr, a longtime aide to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, is accused of "inappropriate sexual behavior." It includes at least one incident in which Barr allegedly propositioned an ICE employee. Allegations of harassment also are part of complaints by three ICE personnel.
Barr resigned, claiming the allegations are unfounded. Holding to the pattern established years ago by government officials under fire for character issues, Barr insisted she was leaving to keep the complaints from "distracting from our critical work."
The behavior that she is accused of is, indeed, distracting to ICE employees. But allowing her to walk away unscathed makes such conduct more likely to occur in the future.
Congress should insist on a full investigation of complaints against Barr. If she is found to have committed the acts of which she is accused, she should be punished for them.