The Washington Times, a conservative-leaning news source, but one that did contact and receive a response from Rep. Raul Grijalva from Tucson, is breaking news of taxpayer funds being used as “hush money” for one of his former female staffers.
Rep. Raul M. Grijalva quietly arranged a “severance package” in 2015 for one of his top staffers who threatened a lawsuit claiming the Arizona Democrat was frequently drunk and created a hostile workplace environment, revealing yet another way that lawmakers can use taxpayer dollars to hide their misbehavior on Capitol Hill.
Just about any person remotely involved with politics in Tucson knows of Grijalva’s addiction problem which unfortunately he manifests also in Washington D.C. There’s the story of Obama’s first inaugural dinner at the White House and the new Vice President was being introduced to Raul Grijalva who was pissed-drunk and stumbling. There’s also the story of how Nancy Pelosi warned Grijalva that she would censure him if he ever showed up to the House floor drunk again.
It is no secret that Grijalva has a DUI from decades ago, but it appears that in all that time no one has sought to have an intervention. Instead, local Democrats and activists have acted as enablers, constantly looking the other way as long as they got what they wanted from him and as long as he got the blind support to win reelection.
However, if anyone knows about Title IX which deals with sexual harassment in the workplace, then one knows exactly what the code words “created a hostile workplace environment” means; it means there were some shenanigans occurring that adds to the national litany of allegations being lobbed at top politicians for their inappropriate misconduct towards women.
Will local activists and activistas finally call out the Kingmaker of Tucson? This is certainly not his first offense that demonstrates his hypocrisy.
- In 2010, Il Padrino got his whole G-Unit to endorse a rich Republican farmer from Fresno against a union activist who had worked with the UFW for US Senate.
- Grijalva even convinced Dolores Huerta to rally for Rodney Glassman, the original Republican who turned Democrat so he could run and win office on the Tucson City Council, but who has now returned to being a Republican who is now running for Arizona Corporation Commission.
- While Democrats and environmentalists were rallying against the Keystone Pipeline, Grijalva’s family purchased stock in its competitor: Enbridge Energy Partners. This made Raul Grijalva partners with Donald Trump, who also owned stock in the company that would go on to build the Dakota Access Pipeline.
- While local activists, including our top Latina activist Isabel Garcia, were having discussions and rallies regarding divestment from companies that invest in anti-Palestinian causes, such as Wells Fargo and Caterpillar, which were called out in particular, by name, by local activists, Raul Grijalva was instead investing in both companies as a stockholder.
Not one time was Raul Grijalva ever called out by local activists on any of issues, except by this Chicano activist and supporters of Three Sonorans which aims to call out wrongdoings by any politician: Republican or Democrat.
Now we know of a potential Title IX violation, but due to the hush money paid for by us the taxpayers, Raul Grijalva claims that the nearly $50,000 he paid had nothing to do with sexual harassment… or rather that no sexual harassment claim was ever filed after the hush money was paid. The Washington Times article continues:
“On the advice of House Employment Counsel, I provided a severance package to a former employee who resigned. The severance did not involve the Office of Compliance and at no time was any allegation of sexual harassment made, and no sexual harassment occurred,” Mr. Grijalva said in an email to The Washington Times.
“Under the terms of the agreement, had there been an allegation of sexual harassment, the employee would have been free to report it. Regrettably, for me to provide any further details on this matter would violate the agreement,” he said.
Mr. Grijalva did not respond to repeated inquiries about why he agreed to a more than $48,000 severance package for an employee on the job for just three months.
The woman, whose name is being withheld by The Times, declined to comment for this article.
The payoff in the Grijalva case appeared to violate House rules that prohibit a Congress member from retaining “an employee who does not perform duties for the offices of the employing authority commensurate with the compensation such employee receives.”
A legitimate severance package also should be paid in a lump sum and reported separately, according to House rules.
The role of the House Employment Counsel in squelching workplace complaints emerged amid flurry of sexual harassment accusations and shock that Congress has covered it up for years.
Most of the focus has been on Congress’ Office of Compliance, which over the past 20 years paid out $17.2 million to settle 264 complaints of sexual harassment and other workplace violations on Capitol Hill, The Washington Post reported this month.
Either way, it appears Raul Grijalva is in trouble:
- If the Congressman did nothing wrong, which is nearly $50K being paid out to a new staff who only worked with Grijalva for three months?
- As the article above states, “the payoff in the Grijalva case appeared to violate House rules.”
However, Democrats use the same logic as Kelly Ann Conway and Donald Trump do with their support of pedophile Roy Moore; his vote is more important than any wrongdoings towards women that may have occurred. Women are ignorable and less important than any vote that these powerful men may cast, and thus the blind loyal support for both Grijalva and Moore.
It is time for us to replace the man who perpetuates the myth of the drunken Mexican, using his power and intoxication to hit on any woman around him, only to justify it the next day after a hit of the morning white powder and coffee from Epic Cafe around the corner from his office and blaming last night’s transgressions on the too many drinks he had… once again.
We need to end this harmless cartoonish image that supporters paint of an abuser simply because he has a big mustache.
Unfortunately, this cycle has repeated for decades since his DUI and most likely from before then, and unless some serious rehab takes place, Raul Grijalva will continue to be the national embarrassment of Tucson.