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Rep. Grijalva Paid Almost $50K in Taxpayer Money to Former Staffer to Hide Inappropriate Behavior

Rep. Grijalva Paid Almost $50K in Taxpayer Money to Former Staffer to Hide Inappropriate Behavior

Drunk at work. Hostile environment.

The Washington Times has revealed that Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) had his own hush fund to keep one former employee quiet. She claimed that the lawmaker “was frequently drunk and created a hostile working environment.” She threatened a lawsuit, but he settled on a $48,395 deal with her to keep her quiet.

The female employee left after three months, but the value of the settlement equaled five addition months pay. This may have violated House rules since a lawmaker cannot keep “an employee who does not perform duties for the offices of the employing authority commensurate with the compensation such employee receives.”

From The Washington Times:

The payoff in the Grijalva case appeared to violate House rules that prohibit a Congress member from retaining “an employee who does not perform duties for the offices of the employing authority commensurate with the compensation such employee receives.”

A legitimate severance package also should be paid in a lump sum and reported separately, according to House rules.

The role of the House Employment Counsel in squelching workplace complaints emerged amid flurry of sexual harassment accusations and shock that Congress has covered it up for years.

A few weeks ago, The Washington Post reported that the Office of Compliance has shelled out $17 million in 264 cases since 1997 “to federal employees for violations or various employment rules.” This amount includes sexual harassment, but it also shows that there is other inappropriate behavior going on at Capital Hill.

Is anyone shocked that Grijalva used his statement on this story to brag that there was no sexual harassment in this settlement? Yeah, I’m not:

“On the advice of House Employment Counsel, I provided a severance package to a former employee who resigned. The severance did not involve the Office of Compliance and at no time was any allegation of sexual harassment made, and no sexual harassment occurred,” Mr. Grijalva said in an email to The Washington Times.

“Under the terms of the agreement, had there been an allegation of sexual harassment, the employee would have been free to report it. Regrettably, for me to provide any further details on this matter would violate the agreement,” he said.

Yeah…okay. Do you want a cookie? The fact is you showed up DRUNK to work and made an uncomfortable work environment. Then you used our money to hush the employee and hide your behavior.

Granted, a lot of people have concentrated on sexual harassment and assault when it comes to these cases. But other disgusting behavior is just as disturbing, especially since they’re using our money to hide it.

I blogged yesterday that Congress has returned from the Thanksgiving holiday under pressure to unseal all these deals as they expect more scandals come to light. As this report shows, it’s not all about sexual harassment:

“It seems like all of these House bodies are designed to help cover for members of Congress,” said Melanie Sloan, an ethics lawyer in Washington. “A large part of the problem is that each member of Congress can treat their staff as their own fiefdom and also know that it will remain silent.”

Sloan has levied accusations against Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), which include verbal abuse, when she worked as a Democratic counsel for the House Judiciary Committee in the 1990s.

But it was the accusations against Conyers and details of the wrongful dismissal claim that he settled in 2015 that showed the grueling process victims have to go through in order to lodge complaints. From BuzzFeed:

The process was “disgusting,” said Matthew Peterson, who worked as a law clerk representing the complainant, and who listed as a signatory to some of the documents.

“It is a designed cover-up,” said Peterson, who declined to discuss details of the case but agreed to characterize it in general terms. “You feel like they were betrayed by their government just for coming forward. It’s like being abused twice.”

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Comments

Here’s hoping the pressure to release all the details about all the payouts from that Congressional fund increases to the point of being unbearable.

Congress exempts itself from the laws it imposes on us. Enough with the do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do antics.

This may have violated House rules since a lawmaker cannot keep “an employee who does not perform duties for the offices of the employing authority commensurate with the compensation such employee receives.”

This doesn’t seem a promising line of attack. It’s useful only if you think silence is a service you don’t have to pay for. Like any other demand you make of an employee, if you want it, you should be prepared to pay for it. And, if you pay for it, you have a right to expect to get it.

    This may have violated House rules since a lawmaker cannot keep “an employee who does not perform duties for the offices of the employing authority commensurate with the compensation such employee receives.”

    By this definition, pretty much every congressperson is in violation of the rule (i.e., they are overpaid for the duties they [fail to] perform).

I am careful about believing every he said/she said accusation that comes along. And I don’t care much for trial by media.

But when the accused is willing to pay off the accuser that seems an admission of guilt.

    The accused was willing for YOU to pay off the accuser.

    tom_swift in reply to kenoshamarge. | November 28, 2017 at 6:54 pm

    Unfortunately, it depends on who’s involved. A settlement in a malpractice case, for example, doesn’t imply that a physician made a medical error (even though far too many people assume it does); it just indicates that his insurer thought it more economical to settle than to fight. Physicians, of course, hate this; they detest being implicitly blamed for professional faults they don’t in fact have. But they have little to say about it.

OK, I have no doubt that any progressive (motto: by any means necessary) is a pig, but I have a silly question. What does the lapel pin he is wearing represent?

So he was too drunk to get it up.

House Rules?? Dems don’t need no steenking rules! Open the names on the list and corresponding payouts.

The American public must realize that Democrats are not held to the same laws as the rest of us. They can use public money at will and all will be forgiven.

Ah, Grijalva, co-chair of the Congressional Communist Progressive Caucus (the “78 to 81 members of the Communist Party” that Allen West referred to. (“You can call them socialist, Marxist, communist or whatever you want, but the point is, they oppose free markets and individual economic freedom, they want to redistribute wealth, and they want to see the nation fundamentally transformed. Their policies are destructive”)

    Tom Servo in reply to Milhouse. | November 28, 2017 at 7:54 pm

    Hey, how ’bout that Judge Kelley, amiright? What a maroon! He should have called and asked you for some tips on statutory interpretation, I’m sure you know far more about the topic than some silly federal judge.

      Milhouse in reply to Tom Servo. | November 29, 2017 at 3:38 pm

      Kelly hasn’t ruled yet. He denied the TRO. But one thing is certain: however he rules, he will not find that a resigned director is not “absent or unavailable”, because that position was not briefed by either side. And his decision, whatever it is, is unlikely to be the final word, unless Trump hurries with the nomination of a new director.

      Meanwhile how about sticking to the topic?

legacyrepublican | November 29, 2017 at 9:04 am

In the old days, it was the “Congressional Banking Scandal.”

Now it is the “Congressional Boinking Scandal.”

In either case, the voters are getting screwed.

The list of congressmen and congresswomen must be released to the public. Those who paid accusers with public money must pay it back with their funds and also pay a fine. I would like to see the people represented by these scums force them to resign.

No member of congress should be allowed to be on the ethics committee. They might be just as guilty.

So, here we have a Congressman who allegedly did something inappropriate and his “victim” gladly accepted money in exchange for silence. I know, I know, attorneys call this an “out of court settlement”. It is one thing to be reimbursed for an actual loss due to the actions of another. It quite another to accept money to remain silent concerning a violation of rules or law. These cases are akin to a bank messenger accepting part of the money, that is stolen from him by a robber, to remain quiet concerning the robbery.

The actions of the Congressman may be improper or even illegal, but I can’t seem to view the person who accepted the pay-off to be any better.

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