A senior US Border Patrol official abruptly resigned in October after allegations surfaced that he pressured a subordinate employee to perform sexual favors, and other women have since made similar allegations that they were victimized. for him. say three Department of Homeland Security officials.
Tony Barker, who served as acting chief of Border Patrol’s directorate of police operations, is now under investigation for his behavior by Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Professional Responsibility, the three officials say.
According to sources, a woman said she was in a consensual relationship with Barker that she tried to end, prompting Barker to retaliate. Barker allegedly threatened to tell others that he had illegally issued contracts if he did not perform sexual favors.
Since making her allegations to DHS, many other women who worked with Barker have made similar complaints, the sources said.
Barker quietly left his post in October after two decades with the Border Patrol. Barker, a career designee who has served in various administrations, recently assumed the position of CBP contact person at the Southwest Border Command Center, an interagency task force established to manage the surge of immigrants at the border.
In a statement, Tony Barker said: «The allegations that I have pressured any woman for sexual favors or victimized them are completely and unequivocally false. I am proud of my 21 years of service with the US Border Patrol. I am now taking advantage of this moment to focus on my family and look for other opportunities.”
A CBP spokesperson said: “As of October 14, 2022, Tony Barker is no longer an employee of the US Border Patrol.
«We do not tolerate misconduct within our ranks. When we discover any suspected or potential misconduct, we immediately refer it for investigation and fully cooperate with any criminal or administrative investigation. This is the case whether or not the alleged misconduct occurs in or out of service. privacy laws prohibit discussion of individual cases.»