Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) was truly a nightmare of a boss in a number of ways, according to an eye-popping lawsuit by his former adviser.
Brandon Pope, Lamborn’s former defense and business adviser, is suing the congressman for allegedly firing him for raising concerns about his refusal to implement COVID-19 safety measures in both of Lamborn’s offices in D.C. and Colorado, where Pope worked.
The crux of the lawsuit is dark: Pope alleges that Lamborn’s “reckless and dangerous” response to COVID-19 resulted in outbreaks in both offices after the Republican, who allegedly claimed the virus was a hoax aimed at hurting then-President Donald Trump politically, openly scorned masks and did not allow staffers to social distance.
Lamborn’s attitude allegedly didn’t change even after he himself got infected, and at one point he even told an aide point-blank “I don’t care about you guys getting it,” according to Pope.
But the lawsuit also alleges a uniquely weird ethics violations seemingly drawn from an episode of “The Office.”
At the top of the list is an account of Lamborn allegedly let his son to live in a storage space in the basement of the Capitol “for a period of weeks.” This Phantom of the Opera-esque arrangement was made when the congressman’s son relocated to Washington for work, Pope alleges. Lamborn’s office also allegedly directed the adviser and another aide to help the son apply for jobs and even hold mock interviews with him.
Additionally, the court document claims Lamborn’s staffers were “compelled” to give Christmas and birthday gifts to him and his wife Jeanie, who, it also alleges, was allowed to make off with office supplies, including a laminating machine, for personal use.
Aides were allegedly “made to believe” they had to accept the Republican’s invitation for family events and meals or else they’d be fired. Pope claims that fear wasn’t unfounded; he alleges that at least one staffer was axed for turning down an invite, and that another got fired for telling Lamborn that mandatory meals were inappropriate.
After Pope filed the claims on Thursday, Lamborn told Colorado Public Radio reporter Caitlyn Kim that his former adviser was merely a “disgruntled employee” and that the lawsuit was a “tissue of lies.”
However, the GOP congressman wouldn’t say whether he allowed his son to use the Capitol basement like an Airbnb.
“I gave my son temporary housing as my guest because the housing market in Washington D.C. is very tight,” Lamborn said.
“I’m not going to go into more detail on that,” he replied when pushed on the issue.
Read the lawsuit filing below: