Sheila Jackson Lee Forced to Relinquish Leadership Roles Amidst Pending Lawsuit – NTK Network Sheila Jackson Lee Forced to Relinquish Leadership Roles Amidst Pending Lawsuit

Sheila Jackson Lee Forced to Relinquish Leadership Roles Amidst Pending Lawsuit

A former employee is suing Jackson Lee and the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation after she was fired shortly after revealing she was raped as an intern at the CBCF years earlier.

By NTK Staff | 01.24.2019 @11:34am
Sheila Jackson Lee Forced to Relinquish Leadership Roles Amidst Pending Lawsuit

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) formally stepped down from her role as chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) and as chair of the House Judiciary subcommittee on crime after Democratic leadership forced her hand, according to the New York Times.

Initially defiant, Jackson Lee obliged leadership’s request to step down after it became clear they would publicly force her out if she tried to hold on to these leadership positions.

The force-out stemmed from a lawsuit filed earlier this month against Jackson Lee and the CBCF.

A woman identified only as Jane Doe in court filings claims she was fired from Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee’s (D-TX) congressional office after she told Jackson Lee’s chief of staff she intended to pursue legal action against the then-intern coordinator of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) for rape. Jane Doe and the man she accuses of rape, Damien Jones, both worked for the CBCF in 2015 when the incident allegedly occurred.

As soon as the news broke, the clock began ticking on Jackson Lee’s time as chair of the CBCF, per the Times.

Ms. Jackson Lee made the decision to step aside from both roles as pressure was growing within her own party to account for the claims in a Jan. 11 lawsuit brought by a woman who worked in her congressional office and who said she was sexually assaulted by a Black Caucus Foundation supervisor. Ms. Jackson Lee has adamantly denied that she fired the woman for retribution after the woman indicated she wanted to pursue legal action, but she planned to say Wednesday that she would step aside nonetheless.

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s board had given Ms. Jackson Lee an ultimatum late last week after the claims became public: step down as chairwoman or face a vote of removal as soon as this week, according to an official familiar with the conversations who was not authorized to discuss them.

Jackson Lee denied any wrongdoing in a statement released by her congressional office. “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.

Among those who reportedly leaned on Jackson Lee to step down was one of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) top lieutenants, Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC), per Democratic sources who spoke to Politico. The National Alliance to End Sexual Violence also announced it was cutting ties with Jackson Lee.

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