Democrat Ethics Chief Faces Ethics Lawsuit

Linda Sanchez (Cliff Owen / Associated Press)
Cliff Owen / Associated Press

A woman who formerly worked for Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA) is suing her, claiming that she was fired for reporting that Sanchez and her staffers were guilty of unethical and illegal conduct.

Kara Medrano was allegedly fired in Feb. 2015 after she reportedly submitted a complaint to the House Ethics Committee. Her lawsuit asks for $2.5 million in damages and her job back.

Sanchez is the top Democrat on the House Ethics Committee.

Politico reports that Alex Nguyen, Sanchez’s spokesman, responded to the lawsuit, asserting, “We consider internal personnel matters confidential and will not comment at this time. We are confident with the representation of House General Counsel’s office and the Office of House Employment Counsel these baseless allegations will be resolved in our favor.”

The details, according to Politico, include:

Kara Medrano, a one-time senior field representative for Sanchez, alleges that she saw Yvette Shahinian, Sanchez’s district director, conducting campaign work on official time, which is a potential violation of federal law…

Two weeks later, Shahinian told the “entire office staff” that they had to “delete all emails and documents that contain anything that may be incriminating regarding [fundraising] or campaigning using Congressional resources or any other campaiging [sic] information off their computers” due to a pending audit by the Ethics Committee. An IT employee for Sanchez also reportedly complained about the action.

Following Medrano’s complaints about Shahinian, Medrano’s work environment was made “more and more intolerable.”

Medrano was also noted as an alleged victim of sexual harassment when Central Basin Municipal Water District Director Robert “Bob” Apodaca was under scrutiny in 2013.



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