Republican ‘recklessly’ exposed staff to COVID — and let son live in Capitol storage space: lawsuit

On Thursday, NBC4 Washington reported that Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) is being sued by a former staffer who alleges a litany of misconduct, including that he "recklessly" exposed congressional staff to COVID and made them do personal favors for his family.

Lamborn represents a central Colorado district that includes Colorado Springs, a historically conservative, military-heavy city.

"In the suit, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, former Lamborn military aide Brandon Pope claims he was the victim of retaliation for 'seeking to protect employees from unsafe conditions in the workplace,'" reported Scott MacFarlane. "According to the lawsuit, '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.'"

A number of Republican lawmakers have faced accusations of putting staffers at risk by violating COVID protocols, including former President Donald Trump himself.

"The suit said Lamborn slept in his DC office during the same time period in which some of his D.C. staff had tested positive for the virus in October, during a week of votes in the US House," said the report. "Pope also tested positive for the virus by November, according to his suit. Pope was fired, the suit says." And Lamborn also allegedly called the virus a "hoax" in staff meetings.

"The suit also alleges Lamborn staff were asked to perform personal tasks for the congressman. Pope also alleges, 'Staff were compelled to give Christmas and birthday gifts to Representative Lamborn and his wife,'" said the report. "The lawsuit also said the congressman allowed his son to live in a storage space in the basement of the Capitol for weeks when his son was relocating to Washington."

Lamborn and his attorney have not offered comment on the matter.