Rep. Lee is being sued now by a "Jane Doe" client represented by my fellow Government Accountability Project alum, Washington,D.C. lawyer Lynne Bernabei for discrimination under the Congressional Accountability Act, tort law and the District of Columbia Human Rights Act.
Rep. Lee has stepped down from her committee posts and Congressional Black Caucus Foundation positions, pending the litigation. Will Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee end up resigning from Congress?
Read the lawsuit against Rep. Lee here,
Read my back page editorial column in today's Folio Weekly about the Florida Senate's $1.4 million coverup of sexual assault allegations here.
From Houston Chronicle:
Sheila Jackson Lee steps down from key posts amid ex-aide's retribution claim in sex assault case
By Kevin Diaz
Updated 1:38 pm CST, Wednesday, January 23, 2019
WASHINGTON – Houston Democrat Sheila Jackson Lee, under fire from a former aide's lawsuit alleging she was fired in connection with a sexual assault complaint, said Wednesday that she will step down as chairwoman of a key House Judiciary subcommittee on criminal justice.
Jackson Lee, in her 13th term, also resigned as chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, a post that helped raise her national profile.
The lawsuit, filed by a woman who worked in Jackson Lee's office from November 2017 to March 2018, claimed that she was dismissed after notifying the congresswoman's chief of staff that she planned to pursue a sexual assault case against a foundation supervisor. She is identified in court records only as "Jane Doe" who worked as a special assistant and director of public engagement.
Jackson Lee issued a statement Wednesday "adamantly" denying the woman's allegation and recounting her record of advancing civil rights and non-discrimination legislation, including a law that applies to Congress.
She also has been a key voice in the push to extend the historic 1994 Violence Against Women Act.
"While we still deny the allegations, we are especially concerned about Ms. Doe and only want the best for her and the many, many young people that the Congressional office has supported, encouraged and provided opportunities for over 20 years," she said in the statement.
"The congresswoman is confident that, once all of the facts come to light, her office will be exonerated of any retaliatory or otherwise improper conduct and this matter will be put to rest," the statement said.
Nevertheless, the loss of a leading role on the criminal justice subcommittee was a setback for Jackson Lee, who would have been the first black woman in a post overseeing an important issue in the African American community.
Related: Ex-Sheila Jackson Lee staffer says she was fired in retaliation for planned sex assault suit
Pressure had been building on her since the lawsuit was filed January 11 laying out the former aide's claims. Jackson Lee becomes the latest member of Congress to be ensnared in #MeToo era allegations of sexual impropriety.
The lawsuit stems back to October 2015, when the woman, then a 19-year-old Howard University intern at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, alleges that a 30-year-old male supervisor she was drinking and socializing with took her to his apartment and forced her to have sex.
According to her complaint filed in a federal court in Washington, the woman did not bring legal action at the time and police did not bring charges.
The woman was hired by Jackson Lee's office two years later after she graduated from Howard. The earlier incident involving the foundation supervisor, identified as Damien Jones, did not come to light until Jones also was being considered for a job in Jackson Lee's office.
The woman then reportedly told Jackson Lee's chief of staff, Glenn Rushing, about the "prior situation." Jones was not hired.
But the woman said she subsequently learned about a text message sent to Jackson Lee from A. Shuanise Washington, the foundation's chief executive, offering "background" on the woman.
The woman said she tied the text to her assault and told Rushing that she would take legal action against the foundation. She also said she wanted to speak to Jackson Lee personally. Instead, she said, she was fired.
Her lawsuit names both Jackson Lee and the foundation, which has released a statement promising to cooperate with an investigation of the woman's claims.
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The foundation, which includes high-profile corporate executives and members of Congress, also has denied having any influence over Jackson Lee's decision to fire the woman. The group reportedly pressed Jackson Lee to step down from her post.
While Jackson Lee battles the woman's allegations, it became clear Wednesday that the case was costing her support among key allies, including the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence, which announced that the group could no longer "support her continued lead sponsorship" of the Violence Against Women Act.
This story will be updated as more details are uncovered.
From The New York Times: