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Sean Lawler who was sworn in as Chief of Protocol of the United States, with rank of Ambassador on December 1, 2017 is reportedly resigning over allegations of discrimination and harassment. Bloomberg is reporting that he was pulled off AF1 manifest after his staff complained of intimidating behavior, including allegedly, carrying a horsewhip in the office.
Whoa! There are hidden horses in Foggy Bottom that need whipping?
Folks are understandably confused. “Wait a minute. Is this right? The dude is carrying around a horse whip on the job?” Or “Wait. Carrying a horsewhip ISN’T protocol?” Or “What, exactly, is the utility of a horsewhip in matters of protocol?” One HR person who isn’t confused notes: “If your manager has a horsewhip in his office & you don’t work with horses… maybe you’re in a less-than-stellar work environment.”
An aside — horsewhip is word of the day for a bunch of folks online. And come to think of it, what the HR person wrote made sense. This would be challenging when the Best Places to Work ranking comes around next year. The 2018 ranking, by the way, is roaring red and down -3.3 points, comparable only to the State Department’s ranking in 2003.
Anyway, Lawler who was nominated in September 2017 will reportedly resign. As of this writing, his bio is still prominently displayed on state.gov.
NBC’s Josh Lederman reports that “Two U.S. officials said that employees in the chief of protocol’s office had been informed that Ambassador Sean Lawler had been suspended indefinitely pending the outcome of the investigation. A third official said that Lawler had told the State Department’s leadership he planned to submit his resignation to President Donald Trump after the G-20 summit, which starts Friday in Osaka, Japan.” The U.S. officials who told NBC News about Lawler’s situation reportedly declined to elaborate on the specifics of the allegations, but did say that “numerous employees in his office had resigned in protest of his management and behavior.”
These media reports follow the most recent IG report on the toxic workplace at U.S. Embassy Libreville (see U.S. Embassy Gabon: State/OIG’s Ode to All Things Dreadful in a Small Post). We’re quietly watching a couple more on bad bosses bubbling up.
NEWS: Trump’s chief of protocol was pulled from AF1 manifest for G20 trip after his staff complained about intimidating behavior, including carrying a horsewhip in office.
A deputy will aid Trump with the finer points of protocol for this foreign trip.https://t.co/3z7NAsItLu
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) June 25, 2019
NEWS: Trump’s Senate-confirmed chief of protocol pulled off the job just ahead of G-20 summit, US officials tell me – https://t.co/kRFLJp1sfD
— Josh Lederman (@JoshNBCNews) June 25, 2019
US Chief of Protocol Sean Lawler welcomes leaders from Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and Palau, arriving at the WH individually for talks with Pres Trump. pic.twitter.com/IuF3xOm3F7
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) May 21, 2019
#SanDiego #BorderPatrol, along with @US_Protocol, hosted 19 foreign Ambassadors to the US today. Participants met with #CBP executive leadership and toured the border while exchanging best practices and seeking solutions to global migration/smuggling challenges. #DHS #BORDER pic.twitter.com/v6hrQeit9v
— CBP San Diego (@CBPSanDiego) June 18, 2019
We have a new Ambassador in town 🇩🇰🇺🇸 @DKambUSA Lone Dencker Wisborg, Ambassador Designate of Denmark to the United States is presenting copies of credentials to Ambassador Sean Lawler @US_Protocol at the @StateDept Next stop, the @WhiteHouse #DenmarkinUSA #Denmark #diplomacy pic.twitter.com/Vi5e7Biw6s
— Denmark in USA 🇩🇰 (@DenmarkinUSA) April 1, 2019