All three top staff members for Texas Democrat Rep. Jolanda Jones resigned, citing a "hostile workplace" this week, Just The News reported. Jones, who represents Houston, was sworn in less than a year ago.
"We, as a collective of senior staff, have repeatedly attempted to curb your behavior and address the type of work environment you have bred over the last month. But, to no avail; we haven't seen any success," the staffers wrote in a letter.
It was signed by Jones's Chief of Staff Kory Haywood, Legislative Director Catherine “Cat” Mouer, and District Director Yesenia Wences. "You have continued to endorse, encourage, and create an abusive and hostile work environment in the workplace without accountability for you or your relatives' actions."
The staffers made several claims, including that Jone's son "Jiovanni Christian Jones, Esq...is having an inappropriate relationship with the office intern" It's especially problematic given his role in her administration.
"Jio is not only your son, but General Counsel at Elite Change Inc. (registered lobbying firm and also the financial vehicle of your campaign manager, Dallas Jones)," the letter continued. "This inappropriate relationship may constitute as sexual harassment or a conflict of interest between his office of employment and your state office."
They also charged that staff was roped into Jones's "personal and family life, without regard for work-life boundaries and the scope of staff’s employment," including involving them in criminal issues related to her son.
The letter outlined a laundry list of activities, including demanding her staff drive her to and from the airport in the middle of the night or take calls unrelated to business on weekends in the wee hours of the morning or while she was "in the shower."
"You have engaged in physically threatening behavior in public view that has made staff feel unsafe and compromised their ability to complete their duties," the letter also charged. It later added that Jones "threatened to fire staff members on a daily basis, holding it over their heads for compliance in ethically questionable situations," the senior staffers said.
"You have made disparaging remarks about staffers’ family members and threatened retaliation if that information is shared with the related staff members." They further accused Jones of allowing her son to abuse the staff, and later cited it as the main issue for their departure.
"While all of the above issues have contributed to this decision, the main reason for our resignation is due to your response to the inappropriate relationship between your son and the intern," they wrote. "We have witnessed firsthand your unprofessional behavior and find it unacceptable."
"We have brought this issue and others to your attention on multiple occasions, but it appears that no action has been taken to address the matter," the staffers later claimed. "We can no longer continue to work in an environment where such toxic and unethical behavior is tolerated and condoned," the letter charged.
"It is time for you to show real leadership by taking immediate action to address these issues rather than covering them up." The letter ended with the admonisher for Jones to "own your S.H.I.T."
Jones did exactly the opposite in her response, stating that their roles "in the Texas Legislature is a stressful and demanding job, especially when you’re struggling daily to protect your constituents from attacks on (themselves), their families, their civil rights, their schools, and their ability to control their own bodies protect," Jones wrote. "Some of my employees have decided that this job is not for them. I wish them the best of luck and success in their next endeavors."
This Democratic representative is clearly unfit for office and has allegedly taken that out on her staffers. The fact that all three have resigned is shocking enough, but their accusations are unconscionable if true.