There’s a new explosive revelation involving another top Democrat who is being accused of using taxpayers’ money to pay off a former staffer who once threatened to sue him claiming that he is often drunk and that he created a hostile workplace.
The Democrat at the center of the new allegations is Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva, a top Democrat on the House Committee on Natural Resources. Grijalva’s secret deal with a former female staffer was exposed by The Washington Post on Monday. The payout was said to have been negotiated by the House Employment Counsel, the body’s attorney. Total cost for taxpayers is pegged at $48, 395.
The settlement may be a violation of House rules. For one, it is against House rules for a lawmaker to retain “an employee who does not perform duties for the offices of the employing authority commensurate with the compensation such employees receives.”
The payout should have been given as a lump sum, but instead, it was paid out in monthly installments. It is taxpayers’ money that paid Grijalva’s disgruntled staffer five month’s worth of severance.
Grijalva admitted to The Times in a statement that “on the advice of House Employment Counsel, I provided a severance package to a former employee who resigned."
The lawmaker denied that there was any sexual harassment that took place.
The fresh revelation on the payout shouldered by taxpayers’ funds comes amid debate over the $17.2 million in taxpayer funds used to settle 264 complaints of sexual harassment and other issues in Congress. The settlements have been kept secret until the issue broke out.
Michigan Democratic Rep. John Conyers was also in the center of controversies recently when he paid a former staffer more than $27,000 after firing her allegedly for rejecting his sexual advances.
It was also revealed recently that the FBI is investigating Democrat lawmaker Robert Brady for allegedly paying an opponent to drop out of the race. Brady is being probed specifically for allegations of false statements, conspiracy and campaign fraud.
The Daily Beast reported that according to an FBI affidavit Rep. Robert Brady (D-Pa.) and his campaign paid his 2012 primary rival $90,000 to quit the race. No charges have been filed against Brady yet, however.
A search on the case has been unsealed in a Pennsylvania federal court a few weeks ago. According to the warrant, an FBI agent requested access to Brady’s personal email account, saying it may contain evidence of a conspiracy to cover up the payoff scheme.