Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Politico: Former Congressional aide would rather be at war in Afghanistan

I heard about this story from The Politico on the news yesterday, well FOX News. Anyway, I wonder what the deal is with this:
In an explosive resignation letter, a disabled veteran and aide to Rep. Laura Richardson told the California Democrat that she’d “rather be at war in Afghanistan” than continue working for the congresswoman and accused a senior staff member of engaging in improper political activity on government time.

Brenda Cruz, who worked at Richardson’s office through the Wounded Warrior Program, wrote that Richardson and the senior staffer mistreated her during and after her pregnancy, forcing Cruz to conclude she had to leave the office for her own health and that of her child.

More important to a sprawling House Ethics Committee investigation into Richardson, Cruz alleges the congresswoman used her staff for political purposes. Cruz writes that she, herself, unwittingly engaged in political activity and that a senior staffer routinely and openly worked on Richardson’s reelection effort and other political campaigns while in Richardson’s district office. House aides may work on political campaigns but only outside of congressional offices and on their own time, and no government resources can be used in these efforts.

The House Ethics Committee, which is investigating whether Richardson and her aides improperly used official resources for campaign activities, is now in possession of a copy of Cruz’s March 9 letter, multiple sources told POLITICO.

In a lengthy response to POLITICO, Richardson’s office categorically denied Cruz’s claims, calling the allegations of political work on government time “completely baseless.”

Furthermore, a senior Richardson aide accused former staffers to the congresswoman who now work for Rep. Janice Hahn of influencing Cruz and stirring up trouble for political gain. The source said the relationship between the two offices has become “very toxic” because the Democratic lawmakers are running against each other in a newly redrawn California district.

Hahn’s office declined to comment for this story.
It's pretty damning when one of your aides says that they'd rather be in a warzone than in your very own Congressional office. I mean wow.

BTW, if you look at her Wikipedia profile there appears to have been many ethical issues surrounding her. One of which was over a house for which she stopped paying her mortgage. She was cleared of wrongdoing by the House of Representatives however.

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