**Dr. Karen Johnson, Washington state’s first director of the “Office of Equity,” saw her termination after making racially insensitive comments. The Office of Financial Management investigated these allegations, revealing numerous issues, such as unreasonableness and chaotic management.**
The Washington State Office of Financial Management dug into several allegations against Johnson, who held the position since May 2021. The investigation was launched after her dismissal in early May, as reported by KING-TV. Johnson was found to have made unreasonable demands, maintained a disorderly office, and made inappropriate comments about people’s race.
During a group discussion, Johnson reportedly stated that she generally distrusts Mexican people and claimed that they can conveniently choose to be viewed as white. She even went as far as accusing a white person in her staff of “cultural appropriation” simply for wearing a braid.
Some employees revealed that their physical appearances received comments from Johnson. Among these were remarks on lipstick and weight. Johnson, however, claims that these inaccuracies resulted from her push for accountability at state agencies concerning equity.
Democratic Governor Jay Inslee denied that her firing was related to her claims about equity. Instead, he cited difficulties and budgetary constraints within the equity office. Johnson is mulling over legal action regrading her termination and denies harboring any prejudices.
When queried about her alleged comments on Mexicans, Johnson refuted that she had any animosity towards them. She asserted that she believes everyone is human and belongs equally, urging people not to assume wrong intentions.
The “Office of Equity” primarily aimed to promote equitable access to resources, reduce disparities, and improve outcomes across state government. However, Johnson’s firing calls into question the integrity of the department’s purpose and efficacy.
**The investigation into Johnson’s inappropriate behavior within Washington state’s “Office of Equity” does not only question her commitment to the role but also undermines the office’s overall credibility as an institution dedicated to promoting equity and fairness in state government operations.**