Way to go, Resistance. You’re doing your side proud by taking this old woman down a peg.
An elderly disabled woman working at the United States Geological Survey (USGS) reported being harassed by her coworkers over her support for President Donald Trump, only to have superiors turn around and investigate her instead.
According to the Daily Caller, 69-year-old Wanda Wooten has been a USGS employee for over a decade and is currently a statistical assistant at the National Minerals Information Center (NMIC). Last February, she hung a picture of Trump and two pictures of First Lady Melania Trump in her office, only to find a note signed by acting director of the NMIC, Mike Magyar:
“Wanda, The Hatch Act specifically prohibits any political campaigning, etc on Federal sites,” the note reads. “As President Trump has an active re-election campaign ongoing, these images violate the Hatch Act so I removed them. Mike Magyar.”
Wooten confronted Magyar about the note, and pointed him to a determination by the Obama administration that pictures of presidents taken in an official capacity did not violate the Hatch Act. According to Wooten, Magyar told her she was creating a “hostile work environment.”
Two months later, Wooten received an email from Kelley Resendes, an attorney with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC), informing her that the office had “concluded its investigation into an allegation that you violated the Hatch Act.”
After two months, Wooten got an email from an attorney with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, informing her that the office had concluded an investigation on Wooten’s violation of the Hatch Act:
“Although OSC has concluded that you violated the Hatch Act … we have decided not to pursue disciplinary action and instead are issuing you this warning letter,” the letter from Ana Galindo-Marrone, the chief of the OSC’s Hatch Act unit reads. The letter from the OSC acknowledges that all the photos she displayed of Trump were official photos, along with several of the first lady.
The Daily Caller noted that the speed with which the investigation was executed is lightning fast, considering the fact that Wooten had reported harassment on several occasions dating all the way back to 2017. This kind of harassment includes opening her drink and food containers and leaving notes inside like “eat sh*t and die,” as well as “you f***ing idiot.”
There was also an incident involving a lamp which Wooten leaves on, as turning it off and on is difficult due to her disability. She wrote a note to her fellow employees asking them to leave it on, and received an anonymous note back that read: “Your damn light? You mean this U.S. government light, powered by electricity, both paid by taxpayers? Turn it off when not in use, and do not swear at me, thank you. Very sincerely, A. Taxpayer.”
Other incidents occurred, such as pictures of Trump and fact sheets from the Heritage Foundation being taken down. Upon writing a note to the vandal telling him or her to face Wooten personally, the vandal wrote a note back saying “come say hello, crazy person!” Maygar reportedly didn’t seem to care when Wooten approached him.
Another incident involved tearing down a display Wooten made to represent her grandchildren with a smiley face bearing the initial of each child, according to the Daily Caller. This also came with threatening notes:
“When people who worship Trump build little shrines to Trump in federal workplace public space against the spirit of the law; and curse and swear like the good Christian Trump is, then we can know that they, like Trump, admire ignorance,” a portion of the typed note reads.
“Never learned the difference between ‘to’ and ‘too’? That’s OK, most Trumpsters don’t know!” read the handwritten note, in reference to one of the captions beneath the smiley faces representing her grandchildren.
Wooten’s calls for the investigation of harassment was finally recognized in April 2019, two years after the original harassment began.
“The decision has been made to obtain the services of an outside contractor to conduct a neutral and thorough administrative investigation into the alleged misconduct,” says a letter from the USGS regional director’s office.