Democrat California Gov. Gavin Newsom and another state officials are facing legal action from a fired Air National Guard general who says he faced antisemitic discrimination, harassment and retaliation before being wrongfully terminated last year.
Retired Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Magram, who is Jewish, filed the lawsuit on Jan. 24 in a Los Angeles court. Magram is alleging that his former superior, Maj. Gen. Matthew Beevers, who now serves as the California Military Department’s adjutant general, created a hostile work environment by engaging in numerous antisemitic behaviors over a period of two years and that complaints related to his conduct went unanswered by Newsom.
Magram made headlines in January 2023 when his firing in that month followed reports he used troops to carry out personal errands, including taking his mother shopping, and that he readied a fighter jet for a “possible domestic mission” in 2020 during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, which spurned fear among officials the order would result in a plane “buzzing” civilian protesters in an attempt to disperse crowds.
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An internal disciplinary board substantiated the multiple allegations against Magram prior to his involuntary transfer to the Air Force retired reserve, which reports at the time said was “parallel” to a firing.
Magram, however, disputes those reasons for his termination and instead says it’s because he spoke out against Beevers’ alleged behavior, which, according to Magram, included statements referring to another general as being so cheap he “gives Jewish people a bad name” and making the statement, “How Jewish can you get,” regarding another Jewish service member’s attempt to obtain a military discount on a vehicle.
According to Magram, each instance of alleged antisemitism by Beevers was witnessed by at least one other senior officer and that he reported them to Newsom’s office on six different occasions.
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After reporting the behavior, Magram says Beevers’ animus toward him became evident when he allegedly began “resurrecting and misrepresenting minor settled issues” that were up to a decade old in what the former argues was an attempt to force him out of the department ahead of the latter’s promotion to adjutant general in Aug. 2022.
The lawsuit says that when Magram refused to quit, Beevers unsuccessfully attempted to undo the former’s disability claims, for which he was receiving benefits from the Guard, and subsequently got approval from Newsom to cut short his disability medical evaluation, causing him to lose certain benefits.
It adds that similar other senior officers’ complaints about Beevers to Newsom’s office also went ignored.
“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 in a statement to Fox News Digital. “MG Beevers mounted an unprecedented defamatory campaign against me, and it was supported by the Governor.”
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“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 added. “It’s shocking that Governor Newsom disregarded the many attempts made to correct this situation and appointed MG Beevers permanently as the Adjutant General.”
When reached for comment, Newsom’s office referred Fox News Digital to the California Military Department, which blasted the lawsuit as “retaliatory and baseless” and provided documents that showed Magram was fired for causing the department to “lose faith, trust, and confidence” in his ability to continue serving as a leader in the organization.
“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.
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“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,” they said.
“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,” they added.