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Congressman Doug Lamborn settles lawsuit with former staffer out of court

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO)-- A lawsuit between Colorado District 5 Representative Doug Lamborn and a former staffer has been settled out of court.

The suit, which alleges Lamborn violated COVID-19 protocols in 2020, and didn't attempt to protect his Washington D.C. staffers from the spread of the virus, was dismissed Thursday. It's not clear what Lamborn may have offered up in exchange for having the lawsuit dismissed.

The allegations were brought forth by former staffer Brandon Pope, who also claimed he was retaliated against at work after raising concerns over pandemic protocols in Lamborn's Washington D.C. based office.

The suit goes on to say that Lamborn even told one person in the office that he "did not care" if his employees got infected and refused to wear a mask or isolate himself.

While the lawsuit has been settled, some of the fallout from it is not finished. Another set of claims in the lawsuit led to an ethics investigation on the hill.

Pope alleged that Lamborn let his son live in a storage area in the basement of the U.S. Capitol while his son was relocating to Washington D.C. Pope claimed Lamborn also used congressional resources for his family's personal benefit.

After the suit was filed, The Office of Congressional Ethics reviewed the claims and recommended that the Committee on Ethics investigate the allegations further because "there is substantial reason to believe that Rep. Lamborn misused official resources." 

The results of the committee's investigation have not been released publicly yet.

In a statement to KRDO, a spokesperson for Lamborn denied the allegations in the lawsuit, adding, "there has not been any admission of guilt or wrongdoing associated with this resolution."

KRDO reached out numerous times to Pope and his attorney Friday night but has not heard back.

In an email, KRDO asked Lamborn's spokesperson to disclose the terms of the settlement, but his office said it couldn't share any further information about the case, citing the Congressional Accountability Act, 2 U.S.C. §1416. The act prohibits discussing the contents of mediation and deliberation from being shared publicly but does not explicitly disallow the sharing of settlements or judgments.

Lamborn's office issued the following statement on the settlement Friday:

“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.”

-Cassandra Sebastian, Communications Director for Congressman Doug Lamborn
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Spencer Soicher

Spencer is the weekend evening anchor, and a reporter for KRDO. Learn more about him here.


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