Discrimination Lawsuit Is Filed Against Texas GOP Rep.
Texas GOP Rep. Blake Farenthold is being sued by his former spokeswoman over allegations of gender discrimination and that he created a hostile work environment and improperly fired her after she complained.
Lauren Greene, Farenthold’s communications director until July, claims another Farenthold aide said the lawmaker had “sexual fantasies” and “wet dreams” about Greene.
Greene — who says Farenthold “regularly drank to excess” — says Farenthold told her in February 2014 that he was “estranged from his wife and had not had sex with her in years.”
Greene filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia last week. The lawsuit was first disclosed by the National Law Journal.
Farenthold, first elected to Congress as part of the GOP wave of 2010, has adamantly denied any wrongdoing.
But Greene’s complaint paints a picture of a junior lawmaker seemingly out of control and protected by his staff from getting into any trouble publicly.
“Farenthold regularly drank to excess, and because of his tendency to flirt, the staffers who accompanied him to Capitol Hill functions would joke that they had to be on ‘red head patrol to keep him out of trouble,’” Greene’s complaint alleges. “On one occasion, prior to February 2014, during a staff meeting at which [Greene] was in attendance, Farenthold disclosed that a female lobbyist had propositioned him for a ‘threesome.’”
According to Greene, Bob Haueter, Farenthold’s chief of staff, “belittled” her and shut her out of senior staff meetings.
“On June 10, 2014, in response to Haueter’s complaint about [Greene’s] shirt … which Haueter claimed was transparent and showed [Greene’s] nipples, Farenthold told [another woman staffer] that [Greene] could show her nipples whenever she wanted to,” Greene’s complaint asserts.
Greene said Farenthold avoided meeting one-on-one with her, and she also felt awkward about meeting with Farenthold.
When Greene complained to Farenthold directly in June about her problems with Haueter, she was “marginalized and undermined” by the Texas Republican, and then fired several weeks later, Greene said.
As required by the 1995 Congressional Accountability Act, Greene sought mediation with Farenthold’s office before filing her lawsuit.
Greene started in Farenthold’s office in January 2013, according to LegiStorm, a service that tracks congressional employees. Greene also worked for former Oklahoma Republican Rep. John Sullivan between September 2009 and January 2013.
Kurt Bardella, a Republican spokesman hired by Farenthold to deal with the Greene case, said that the Texas Republican had done nothing wrong and would respond to all of Greene’s allegations.
“As is the case with any pending legal situation, the Congressman cannot comment on the specifics of the complaint, however, it goes without saying that both the Congressman and the members of his staff who are included in this complaint have a very different view of the allegations than Ms. Greene,” Bardella said in a statement.
”For the record, the Office did not and does not discriminate based on sex or any other unlawful factor. The Congressman is eager to respond to Ms. Greene’s allegations through the appropriate legal process and is confident that once all of the facts are revealed, he will be cleared of any wrongdoing.”
Article By: John Bresnahan, visit: www.Politico.com