A Trump-appointed general counsel for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was fired this weekend by the White House after she refused to resing at President Joe Biden’s request, Bloomberg reports.
The official, Sharon Gustafson, wrote to Biden refusing the president’s request that she resign, noting that she was appointed to a four-year term.
In her letter, which was shared by Bloomberg, “Gustafson also accused the EEOC, under Biden, of undermining her work, saying that her reports on ‘religious freedom’ have been removed from the EEOC website. ‘I can only assume that my resignation would be followed by similar suppression of our work promoting religious freedom,’ Gustafson wrote.”
Gustafson sparked national backlash after she led the EEOC to sue the Kroger grocery store chain for having employees wear aprons with rainbow-colored hearts — which they deemed “religious discrimination” because an employee was upset at the apparent endorsement of LGBTQ rights.
“At the end of the day you serve at the pleasure of the president,” said former EEOC general counsel David Lopez. “I think the norm that was violated was that she decided to stay. I’ve never heard of that happening before.”
Media representatives for the White House and the EEOC didn’t respond to requests for comment.