Stephanie Barry, Springfield Republican, MA - Factions. Squabbling. Fights in the bathroom.
A setting from a local high school? Sadly, no. They are scenes from the Springfield office of The Department of Homeland Security, according to documents made public in federal court.
A dispute between two employees renewed in U.S. District Court indicates members of the local office tasked with ensuring the nation’s safety and securing its borders cannot even get along with each other. In one instance, an administrative worker obtained a harassment prevention order against an agent, prompting his ouster from the building but not the payroll.
Among a half-dozen federal agents and support staff in Springfield, dueling personnel complaints have been filed by employees against each other and a former supervisor, records show. An internal investigation of the office at 1550 Main Street is pending and one agent, William Hoyt, has been banned not only from the building — but the parking garage.
Hoyt, who spent 10 years with the Bellows Falls (Vt.) Police Department, left Vermont in 2005 to take a job as a Border Patrol agent with the federal Homeland Security Department along the border between Arizona and Mexico. Hoyt, now 47, was Keith Clark’s second-in-command and managed the department’s personnel and oversaw major investigations and crime scenes while also working with the Southern Vermont Drug Task Force. Clark is now the Windham County Sheriff.
In 2014, Hoyt was recognized by the U.S. Attorney for the District of Maine for his contribution to an investigation that nailed Wade Hoover, a former karate instructor convicted of sexually assaulting two of his young students and recording the crimes, according to the Bangor Daily News.
Former supervisory Agent Timothy Gaynor — who in emails to his higher-ups likened his job to managing unruly, insubordinate adolescents — was transferred from the Springfield office in recent weeks. Gaynor also was under investigation by the Office of Inspector General for a number of personnel complaints while meting out discipline to his staff, according to internal documents. It is unclear from the court records where that investigation stands.
A request for comment from the Department of Homeland Security is pending, as is a request for comment from Hoyt’s attorney and from plaintiff Valorie Macy. She is a Mission Support Specialist in the Springfield office who alleges Hoyt harassed and threatened her. Hoyt denies this.
The grim detail