The top Democrat on the House Committee on Natural Resources used taxpayer dollars to pay off a former staffer who threatened to sue, claiming the lawmaker was often drunk and created a hostile workplace.
Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva’s secret deal with a former female staffer was revealed by The Washington Times on Monday. The payout was negotiated by the House Employment Counsel, the body’s attorney, and cost taxpayers $48,395.
The settlement, however, may have violated House rules, The Times reported. It’s 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 employee receives.”
Grijalva’s payout also should have been handed over in a lump sum, not paid out in monthly installments, The Times reported. Taxpayers paid Grijalva’s disgruntled staffer five month’s severance. The female staffer left her job after just three months, and didn’t pursue the matter after leaving Grijalva’s employment.
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