10:44 AM – Monday, February 12, 2024
California Governor Gavin Newsom and other state officials are facing legal action from a fired Air National Guard general, who claimed that he was wrongfully terminated last year and was subjected to “anti-Semitic harassment, discrimination, and retaliation.”
On January 24th, retired Brigadier General Jeffrey Magram, who is Jewish, filed the lawsuit in a Los Angeles court against Newsom (D-Calif.) and other state authorities. Magram was allegedly fired last year after claims that he “used troops to run personal errands.”
Magram has claimed that his former leader, Major General Matthew Beevers, who is currently the adjutant general of the California Military Department, engaged in multiple anti-Semitic acts over a two-year period, creating a hostile work environment, and that Newsom ignored his complaints regarding his behavior.
Magram stated that Beevers participated in a number of anti-Semitic behaviors over a two-year period, and that Newsom failed to respond to complaints about his misconduct.
News that Magram had used troops to run personal errands, such as taking his mother shopping, and that he had prepared a fighter jet for a “possible domestic mission” in 2020 during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic caused headlines in January 2023.
As a result, this accelerated officials’ fears that the order would lead to a plane “buzzing” civilian protesters in an effort to disperse crowds.
The numerous accusations made against Magram before his involuntary transfer to the Air Force retired reserve, which at the time was reportedly “parallel” to firing an employee, were confirmed by an internal disciplinary board.
Nevertheless, Magram argued those explanations for his firing, claiming that it was because he exposed Beevers’ purported actions, which he claims included calling out another general for being so cheap that he “gives Jewish people a bad name” and saying, “How Jewish can you get?” in reference to a fellow Jewish service member’s attempt to get a military discount on a car.
Magram claims that at least one other senior officer saw each alleged instance of anti-Semitism by Beevers, and he reported them to Newsom’s office on six separate occasions.
When Magram reported the behavior, he claimed that Beevers started “resurrecting and misrepresenting minor settled issues” that were as old as ten years old. He believes that this was an attempt to remove him from the department before Beevers’ promotion to become adjutant general in August 2022.
According to the lawsuit, Beevers unsuccessfully tried to take away Magram’s disability claims, for which he was getting benefits from the Guard, after he refused to resign. Beevers then obtained permission from Newsom to shorten Magram’s disability medical evaluation, which resulted in him losing some benefits.
The lawsuit further states that similar grievances regarding Beevers’ actions from other senior officers were also ignored by Newsom’s office.
Magram made a statement to the press regarding the situation.
“I am extremely proud of my more than 37 years of service to California and this great nation, but I still have serious concerns for the welfare of the servicemembers and civilians that currently serve in the Department,” Magram said. “MG Beevers mounted an unprecedented defamatory campaign against me, and it was supported by the Governor.”
“I want to make sure this never happens again. MG Beevers actions were disturbingly aggressive and unexplainable, and he needs to be held accountable,” he continued. “It’s shocking that Governor Newsom disregarded the many attempts made to correct this situation and appointed MG Beevers permanently as the Adjutant General.”
The California Military Department, which denounced the lawsuit as “retaliatory and baseless” and provided documents demonstrating Magram’s termination for causing the department to “lose faith, trust, and confidence” in his ability to continue serving as a leader in the organization, was referred by Newsom’s office when the press contacted for comment.
“In 2021, the United States Air Force Inspector General investigated Brigadier General Magram for multiple instances of misconduct involving ethical violations and maltreatment of subordinates. On 26 October 2021, the Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force issued Brigadier General Magram a Letter of Admonishment for these indiscretions,” a department spokesperson said in a statement. “This independent action by the Air Force formed the basis of a removal action initiated by the California Military Department to hold Gen. Magram accountable for his misconduct. The recommended discipline was unanimously upheld by a board of three senior officers with no involvement in the underlying incidents. All actions were taken based on independent investigations by the U.S. Air Force and the Military Department Inspector General. We look forward to defending our actions to hold a senior leader accountable for his misconduct.”