From El Paso Matters:
A UTEP administrator created a research position for a former U.S. Border Patrol official accused of sexual harassment so other universities would find it “less risky” to eventually hire him, according to emails obtained by El Paso Matters.
“Although I cannot pay anything, it will attach you to a university making it less risky for another university to take a chance. It will also allow me to include you (in) any future grants and you can use it for journal articles we will be submitting. It would be the start of your academic career!” Victor Manjarrez Jr., the director of University of Texas at El Paso’s Center for Law and Human Behavior, wrote in a Dec. 22, 2022, email to Tony Barker.
Two months earlier, Barker had left a high-ranking Border Patrol job amid an investigation into sexual harassment claims. Federal officials have not disclosed the status of the investigation.
Manjarrez is a former Border Patrol sector chief in El Paso and Tucson who has been with UTEP since 2013. Since 2020, he has directed the Center for Law and Human Behavior, which does research on border security and related issues that is largely funded by the federal government, he has said.
Barker and another controversial former Border Patrol official, Jeffrey Self, were listed as research fellows on the center’s website for a month this year.
Those fellow positions were eliminated, and their information stripped from the center’s university website, on Feb. 6 and 7 amid media questions and criticism from at least one alumnus, according to documents obtained by El Paso Matters under the Texas Public Information Act.
In documents and statements, Manjarrez has said he was unaware that Barker had been accused of sexual harassment until Feb. 5.
NBC News and the New York Times had reported on Jan. 23 that Barker resigned in October after allegations of sexual harassment surfaced when he was being considered for a promotion. At the time of his resignation, Barker was the acting chief of the Border Patrol’s law enforcement directorate.
Barker has denied allegations of sexual impropriety while at the Border Patrol. He did not respond to email, text and phone requests for comment from El Paso Matters,
Manjarrez did not respond to emailed questions from El Paso Matters about the fellowship program, and how Barker and Self were selected.