One of Rep. Shelia Jackson Lee’s former staffers claims in a new lawsuit that the Texas Democrat fired her last year for her desire to take legal action against the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) regarding an alleged rape in 2015.
Per Fox News:
According to documents filed in federal court in Washington last week, the former staffer — identified only as “Jane Doe” — claimed she was raped in October 2015 while she was a CBCF intern by Damien Jones, who was the foundation’s internship program coordinator and her supervisor at the time. The lawsuit was first reported by BuzzFeed News.
Doe reported the alleged assault to police in Washington, D.C., but a criminal investigation proved inconclusive and she did not immediately pursue legal action. She also met with CBCF representatives who asked for all communications between Doe and Jones and told her that Jones was being placed on leave immediately.
Jones’ LinkedIn profile indicates he left the CBCF in December 2015. Neither Jones nor Jackson Lee’s office responded to Fox News’ requests for comment.
In the fall of 2017, Doe was hired to work for Jackson Lee, who recently had been appointed chair of the CBCF’s Board of Directors. On her first day at work, Doe claimed, she learned that Jones was interested in a job in Jackson Lee’s office. She said she told Jackson Lee’s chief of staff, Glenn Rushing, that she had a “prior situation” with Jones and would not be comfortable working with him.
Doe’s lawsuit further stated that the CBCF invited Jones to speak on a panel about environmental issues at the group’s annual conference “even though the CBCF knew that he had sexually assaulted Ms. Doe.”
Jackson Lee subsequently fired Doe “because of budgetary issues.” The congresswoman’s chief advisers allegedly told Doe that because she was the most recent hire, she would be the first to let go.
However, Doe claims Jackson Lee hired two new employees who made at least as much as her since her arrival. Doe also maintains the office hired two more employees shortly after she was fired, while another staffer received a raise – further muddying the waters.
LegiStorm, an online portal tracking the congressional workforce, reports the office of Rep. Jackson Lee has an annual turnover rate of 62 percent, earning her the moniker worst boss in Congress.