Staffers: ‘Bullying’ Maureen McDonnell Treated Us Like ‘Naughty Children’

Former Virginia first lady Maureen McDonnell arrives at federal court in Richmond, Va., Monday, Aug. 18, 2014. The McDonnells begin their defense in their corruption trial today. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
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By now, even the most casual followers of the federal corruption case against former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) and his wife are aware that the first lady was difficult to work with — so difficult to work with that the entire staff of the Executive Mansion once planned to resign en masse.

“Each of us at one time or another has received a screaming phone call or nasty email, during work, in the evening, on weekends and on holidays so that we now worry 24/7 about when to expect it,” the staffers wrote in a resignation letter dated January 30, 2012 that was entered into evidence Tuesday.

Janet Vestal Kelly, a close personal friend of the governor who formerly served as secretary of the commonwealth, testified Monday that she intercepted the staffers before they could hand Maureen McDonnell that letter. Kelly said she believed the first lady was “pathologically incapable of taking any kind of responsibility.”

“To be treated like naughty children anytime something doesn’t suit you is completely unacceptable,” the staffers wrote in the letter. “None of us should experience a raised voice or any other kind of belittling, particularly public humiliation, at work. It is the worst kind of bullying, possibly damaging to our professional reputations, and we would like you to know that going forward it won’t be tolerated.”

View the full letter below, via WRC’s Scott McFarlane:

This post has been updated.

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