Hagel the Boss

by Eliana Johnson

Washington Times analysis of a decade of congressional pay records, from 2001 to 2011, indicates that Hagel’s office had one of the highest staff turnover rates in Congress. They say no man is a hero to his valet. It appears Chuck Hagel wasn’t much of a hero to many of his former Senate staffers, either. 

According to the Times, the turnover rate in Hagel’s office ranked second-highest of any senator in the past decade (former Virginia governor and senator George Allen was No. 1). That being said, Hagel and Allen were the only two senators who lost more than a third of their staff members, so this is quite a distinction indeed. According to the Times, in 2005, when 20 of 51 staffers fled Hagel’s office, “the vast majority were replaced quickly by people with no legislative staff experience.” 

The Times report also includes this aside: 

Time and time again, The Times’ statistical analysis mirrored serious documented abuse, illustrating the extent to which staff felt so mistreated that they were quitting their jobs, in some cases without others lined up, or being fired for trivial reasons en masse.

If Hagel is confirmed as secretary of defense and this pattern continues during his tenure at the Pentagon, there are going to be a lot of unemployed people in Washington, D.C.: approximately 264,000, if you count only the Department of Defense’s civilian employees, which stands at around 800,000 right now. 

Below is a list of all the lawmakers who made the Times’ list, along with the attrition rates of their staff. 

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