Former Rep. Chip Pickering (R-MS) and erstwhile C Street resident turned down Trent Lott's old Senate seat so he could be with his mistress, according to the lawsuit filed by his estranged wife this week.
The suit alleges that when Trent Lott resigned in 2007, Gov. Haley Barbour offered Rep. Pickering the seat. But the congressman turned it down after his girlfriend, Elizabeth Creekmore-Byrd, "insisted" that their relationship could not continue if he accepted the seat, as he would have to stay married for public appearances. She allegedly gave him an ultimatum, and he chose her.
A spokesman for Barbour told Muckraker that he never offered Pickering the seat.
Shortly afterward, the suit says, Pickering moved out of his home. He filed for divorce in 2008, but that case is sealed.
Other gems from the suit, which Leisha Pickering filed against Creekmore-Byrd for alienation of affection:
Creekmore-Byrd is allegedly on the board of Telepak, her family's Internet company, which employs the lobbyist organization Capitol Resources. Pickering claims the mistress got her husband a job with the lobbyists. (A visit to the company's web site shows he does work in their Mississippi office.)
The suit alleges that Creekmore-Byrd aimed "to entice and tortuously interfere" with the Pickerings' marriage, with the help of seven unnamed defendants. It also says the alleged mistress's actions would "evoke outrage and disgust in civilized society."
Pickering alleges that Creekmore-Byrd showed up at a family ski vacation intending to cause a marriage-ending rift.
Leisha Pickering apparently gleaned this information from her husband's journals and other documents, which a judge ordered returned to Rep. Pickering. The judge also apparently forbade Mrs. Pickering and her lawyers from discussing what was in the documents.
You can take a look at the lawsuit here.