According to a new bombshell report from Buzzfeed, Democrat Texas Lawmaker Sheila Jackson Lee is being accused of retaliating against a former staffer who accused a member of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation of rape.
The lawsuit claims Jackson Lee fired the former staffer and alleged rape victim in retaliation.
The Congressional Black Caucus has not yet responded or commented to Buzzfeed on the bombshell story.
A former staffer for Texas Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee claims in a new lawsuit that the lawmaker retaliated against her and fired her because she was planning to pursue legal action over an alleged rape by a former employee of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.
The woman, identified in court papers by the pseudonym Jane Doe, alleges she was raped in October 2015, when she was a 19-year-old intern for the CBCF, by the foundation’s intern coordinator at the time, Damien Jones.
The woman said she reported the alleged rape to police and told several people, including Rep. Terri Sewell, her former boss and a distant relative of her mother’s, but did not pursue legal action at the time.
Several years later, when Jane Doe was working for Jackson Lee, the woman decided she did want to pursue legal action, and told Jackson Lee’s chief of staff Glenn Rushing in early March 2018.
The woman alleges that she asked to speak with Jackson Lee about it, but a meeting never happened, and several weeks later she was fired. Jackson Lee is chair of the board for the CBCF.
Jones did not return requests for comment. After leaving the CBCF in late 2015, he continued to work in Democratic politics and recently served as the regional political director for former representative Beto O’Rourke’s Senate campaign.
Chris Evans, a spokesperson for the O’Rourke campaign, said in an email to BuzzFeed News, “The Beto for Texas campaign was absolutely not aware of these allegations until today and no longer has a relationship with Damien Jones.”
Rushing told BuzzFeed News in a phone call that “We had nothing to do with any of the actions that have been cited and the person was not wrongfully terminated.” He declined to answer additional questions.
A spokesperson for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation did not immediately return requests for comment.
Lawyers for Jane Doe declined to comment.
Read more here.