On Saturday afternoon, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) announced that he had just fired his Chief of Staff for “improper conduct.”
The Senator’s statement doesn’t make clear what kind of conduct led to this decision, but in this new #MeToo world, it doesn’t take a detective to figure out the likely problem.
In these new days of dealing with sexual harassment, assault, and other such issues it is imperative that legislators get out in front of the possible scandal and offer complete transparency about whatever has transpired.
It seems that Senator Rubio understood this and so he moved quickly, and less than a day from learning about allegations against his Chief of Staff, he acted.
“Yesterday afternoon, I was made aware, for the first time, of allegations of improper conduct by my Chief of Staff while under the employment of my office. These allegations were reported directly to me instead of our General Counsel or the Congressional Office of Compliance. Immediately upon receiving this complaint, I along with our General Counsel, began an investigation of this matter.
“By early this afternoon, I had sufficient evidence to conclude that while employed by this office, my Chief of Staff had violated office policies regarding proper relations between a supervisor and their subordinates. I further concluded that this led to actions which in my judgement amounted to threats to withhold employment benefits.
“This evening, I traveled from Florida to Washington D.C. and terminated his employment effective immediately.
“We have taken steps to ensure that those impacted by this conduct have access to any services they may require now or in the future. Pursuant to the wishes of those victimized by this conduct, we will not be disclosing any further details about the incidents which occurred. We will be formally notifying the appropriate Congressional and Senate administrative offices of this matter when they return to work Monday morning.”
Get used to this folks, because there are hundreds of national politicians and thousands of state, and local politicians who will be forced to play the same game that Rubio just did.
This is not the 1970’s anymore and there are a lot of men (and some women) behaving inappropriately and they are liabilities that could destroy a political career. The one thing we’ve learned from our 24-hour politics culture is that politicians care most about protecting themselves, and they won’t let something like the improper behavior of their staff, bring them down.
Expect to see many more sudden firings in the months and years to come.