Former boss says prosecutor changed before she was fired
SIOUX CITY (AP) — A fired prosecutor’s former boss testified that the assistant U.S. attorney changed dramatically in the months before she lost her job.
Larry Kudej testified Thursday that Martha Fagg “changed in front of our eyes” in the six months before she was fired by former U.S. Attorney Stephanie Rose, who is now a federal judge, according to the Sioux City Journal.
“It was like a lively spirit was slowly but surely deteriorating,” said Kudej, who supervised Fagg for 10 years.
Fagg, 56, has filed a lawsuit accusing Rose of discriminating against her because of her mental and physical conditions. She also alleged Rose discriminated against older employees.
Soon after Rose was appointed U.S. attorney, she demoted Kudej and put Teresa Baumann, 35, in the supervisory position.
Fagg was disturbed by the move and wrote a memo to Rose, warning that her action could open the office up to age discrimination claims.
Fagg contends that after years of positive job performance reviews, she was labeled a poor worker after sending the memo and became the focus of intense supervision, including a temporary and then permanent transfer from Sioux City to Cedar Rapids.
Kudej’s wife, Kim, testified that the move to Cedar Rapids left Fagg “broken.”
“We’d go out and she’d talk about the different ways she was going to commit suicide,” Kim Kudej said.
Larry Kudej said Fagg could be a challenge to supervise but was a good lawyer.
“The end results were very effective,” he said. “She got things done that other attorneys wouldn’t have had a clue about how to get done. She wasn’t doing anything that I didn’t approve.”
On Thursday, Rose completed nine hours of testimony that had come over two days.
Rose said Fagg lied to her and Baumann about cases and absences from work. She said Fagg also was disrespectful, and yelled at supervisors and threatened them.
“I can’t think of anyone but Martha who yells and screams (at their supervisors),” Rose said.