According to a lawsuit, Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-CO, violated COVID-19 CDC guidelines in his Washington, DC office even after contracting the virus, and telling his colleagues he ‘didn’t care’ for their welfare.
Brandon Pope filed a lawsuit in federal court in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, alleging that he was dismissed after voicing questions about occupational safety conditions.
Pope claims the alt-right official would sleep in his office on a daily basis, would disregard mask wearing and social distancing rules, and claimed his wife couldn’t be bothered to wear a face covering.
He is also accused of allowing his son to sleep in the basement of the United States Capitol while looking for work.
Cassandra Sebastian, a spokeswoman for Lamborn, released a statement clearly denouncing Pope’s claims, saying the congressman “looks forward to absolute vindication when all facts come to light.”
Because of the tight housing market in Washington, the eight-term congressman from Colorado Springs told Colorado Public Radio on Friday that the case is a “tissue of lies” and that he allowed his son to stay at the Capitol as his guest.
According to the complaint, Lamborn said the coronavirus was a “hoax” on several occasions and unnecessarily exposed his congressional employees in Washington by holding his office open and refusing to encourage them to socially distance themselves.
“Lamborn did not require employees in the District Office to wear masks, claiming that he would not allow House Leadership to dictate how he ran his office, and he did not permit all employees to social distance. Worse, when Lamborn and other senior members of his staff became infected with COVID-19 in the fall of 2020, Lamborn refused to implement or follow reasonable and responsible COVID-19 protocols,” the lawsuit read.
Lamborn tested positive for the virus in November, according to the complaint, and did not take any precautions afterward.
According to Pope’s lawsuit, he tested positive for the infection in November, but it’s unknown when he got it.
Lamborn allegedly told a staffer who was going to wear a mask, according to the complaint.
“Well, I don’t care about you guys getting it” and that his wife as well wouldn’t wear a mask because “no one was going to tell her what to do.”
Pope also alleged that after relocating to Washington, one of Lamborn’s sons was able to live rent-free for weeks in a storage area in the US Capitol’s basement, and that staff was told to assist him in applying for federal employment.
According to the complaint, the employees were also forced to perform personal errands for Lamborn’s family, such as packing furniture to be transported to their holiday home, picking up personal mail, and holding personal legal papers.
The House Ethics manual prohibits members of Congress from using their staff on anything other than official congressional business.
“Staff were also made to believe that accepting invitations for family events, including meals with the Lamborn family, was required in order to remain employed”
According to the complaint, aides were also forced to send Lamborn and his wife Christmas and birthday presents.
The Denver Post received emails between staff members that indicate demands for monetary donations for Christmas presents as well as notes about doing personal errands for Lamborn’s wife.
Lamborn Chief of Staff Dale Anderson sent an email to Lamborn’s entire staff on December 9, 2019, with the subject line “Christmas Gift to Lamborns.”
The letter read, “‘It looks like we are able to get a gift certificate for the Kennedy Center so they can put toward their favorite concert/show. $10 from each of us will give them some flexibility in deciding what they want to attend…Pay me cash or send it through Venmo.”
The subject line of a second email from one of Lamborn’s assistants and schedulers, Linda Rutzen, is “Leaving for lunch/errand.”
“Team, I am leaving now to run an errand for Mrs. Lamborn, then I will take my lunch hour,” she wrote in the January 9, 2020, email.
According to the lawsuit, Pope is requesting a trial as well as an undisclosed punitive compensation for emotional pain and suffering.
Lamborn was elected to the Colorado 5th Congressional District in 2006.
He has a number of hardline political beliefs, including opposition to gay rights, abortion, undocumented worker amnesty, and drug legalization, despite the fact that medical marijuana is now legal in his home state.
Here are some of Lamborn’s quotes to the media regarding his beliefs:
“A husband can physically and verbally chastise their wife in order to control their behavior. The Bible says so.”
“Now, I don’t even want to be associated with him (President Obama). It’s like touching a, a tar baby and you get it . . . you know you’re stuck, and you’re part of the problem now, and you can’t get away.”