Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) has fired his chief of staff for “improper conduct” with subordinates in Rubio’s Senate office, according to a statement released by his office shortly before midnight on Saturday evening.
The staffer in question, Clint Reed, took over as Chief of Staff in December 2016 after his predecessor, Alberto Martinez, left to rejoin the private sector. Originally from Arkansas, Reed managed Rubio’s 2016 re-election campaign to the Senate.
According to Rubio’s statement, he was informed of the allegations yesterday, investigated them with his General Counsel, and decided there was “sufficient evidence to conclude” that Reed had “violated office policies regarding proper relations between a supervisor and their subordinates,” including “actions which in my judgement amounted to threats to withhold employment benefits.”
Rubio flew back to Washington, D.C. tonight and fired Reed, effective immediately.
Rubio’s full statement:
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.
UPDATE: According to a source with knowledge of the Arkansas Republican Party who shared information with RedState on condition of anonymity, Reed may have had some employment-related problems prior to his tenure with Rubio’s office.
According to Reed’s LinkedIn profile, he was the Executive Director of the Arkansas Republican Party from 2004 to 2007. In 2005, the Arkansas GOP, along with then-treasurer Charles Mazander, were fined a combined $360,000 by the Federal Elections Commission (FEC). This fine, listed on the FEC’s website on the list as one of the highest reported fines in FEC history (list goes back to 1980), was for accepting contributions in excess of the maximum allowed amounts, prohibited contributions, and failure to properly account for expenditures. To be fair, it appears at least some of these violations occurred before Reed’s tenure, but the FEC investigation and imposition of the fine was definitely during his time.
“[The Arkansas GOP] has had sexual harassment issues in their office systemically for a decade or more,” including when Reed was the Executive Director, said our source, adding that the real stories had not yet been publicly reported. “They’ve worked hard to keep it quiet.”
There is nothing to indicate that Rubio or anyone in his office was aware of any of these issues regarding Reed.
UPDATE #2: According to Politico’s Marc Caputo, Jessica Fernandez, Rubio’s longtime scheduler and current deputy chief of staff, will take over as interim chief of staff.
Reed has not made any comment on any of his known social media accounts. Rubio’s office has declined to make further comment, directing reporters (including Politico and RedState) to the official statement released earlier.
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[Cross-posted at The Capitolist.]