A lawsuit filed by Brandon Pope, a former staffer of Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colorado Springs, that accused Lamborn of ethical lapses and endangering his staff was dismissed Jan. 19 by mutual agreement, but the terms of the settlement are not being disclosed.
Pope, who served as Lamborn’s defense and business adviser in the Colorado Springs district office, filed the lawsuit in May 2021 after he was fired in December 2020.
The lawsuit spelled out a range of allegations, including Lamborn’s “reckless and dangerous” approach to the coronavirus, which led to several employees becoming infected, and that Lamborn has breached congressional ethics on numerous occasions, including using his office to benefit his family personally. One example was Lamborn allowing his son to live in a storage space in the basement of the U.S. Capitol for weeks after he moved to Washington, D.C.
The same claims formed the basis of an ethics complaint investigated by the Office of Congressional Ethics. That office found that “The Board recommends that the [House] Committee further review the above allegation concerning Rep. Lamborn because there is substantial reason to believe that Rep. Lamborn misused official resources.” Read the OCE’s 19-page report here.
In response to that, Lamborn issued a 27-page rebuttal letter.
It’s unclear where the House Committee’s investigation into the matter stands.
Asked about the settlement, first reported here by Sixty35 news magazine, Lamborn’s communications director Cassandra Sebastian sent Sixty35 this statement:
“While Plaintiff and Defendant disagree strongly about the allegations and defenses made during the Lawsuit, the parties engaged in mediation with a Magistrate Judge and jointly agreed to accept the solution proposed by the mediator, to avoid the expense and burden of future litigation for all involved, including the public (taxpayers). There has not been any admission of guilt or wrongdoing associated with this resolution. And Congressman Lamborn absolutely maintains that at all times, he and his office used best efforts to comply with all legal and ethical requirements. The strict confidentiality provisions of the Congressional Accountability Act, 2 U.S.C. §1416, preclude the parties from revealing any other information regarding this matter; accordingly, no further comment is permissible.”
Sixty35 pressed for more information, asking, “If the plaintiff got money, and that money was public money, the taxpayers can’t know?”
To which Sebastian responded, “As stated in the statement below, we have no further comment.”
We’ve reached out to Pope’s attorney in Washington, D.C., for a comment and will update when we hear something.