A fired communications director for Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Tex.) is suing the congressman’s office for creating an uncomfortable work environment, including allegations that he made sexual comments to and about her.
Lauren Greene, who worked for Farenthold from February 2013 through her termination in July 2014, cited a number of grievances in a lawsuit filed with the U.S. District Court here on Friday.
In her complaint, Greene alleges that Farenthold “regularly drank to excess, and because of his tendency to flirt, the staffers who accompanied him to Capitol Hill functions would joke that they had to be on ‘red head patrol’ to keep him out of trouble.”
She also says that Farenthold seemed to avoid her at work, which she brought up with his executive assistant, Emily Wilkes. Greene alleges that Wilkes told her “that Farenthold had admitted to being attracted to Plaintiff and to having ‘sexual fantasies’ and ‘wet dreams’ about Plaintiff.”
The lawsuit also details an alleged “hostile work environment” created by Farenthold’s chief of staff, Bob Haueter, who Greene claims threatened to once send her home because “he could see Plaintiff’s nipples through her shirt.” She complained to the congressman, who she claims told her to “stand up for herself.” She says she was fired a month later.
Farenthold made news this week for being the long-time owner of a Web site domain name “blow-me.org,” which he registered in 1999. Buzzfeed, which first found the site, reported that Farenthold’s office said he never used it. And in October 2010, photos surfaced of Farenthold, then a candidate for the House, wearing rubber ducky pajamas at a lingerie party posing next to a scantily clad woman.
The National Law Journal quoted Farenthold spokesman Kurt Bardella, who said the congressman couldn’t comment on a pending lawsuit but that “it goes without saying that both the Congressman and the members of his staff who are included in this complaint have a very different view of the allegations than Ms. Greene.”
Asked for further comment, Bardella sent us the same statement. Greene’s attorney did not immediately return calls for comment.
Greene is seeking unspecified monetary damages for lost pay and emotional distress. The office environment caused her “embarrassment, humiliation, loss of enjoyment of life, sleeplessness and feelings of depression and anxiety,” according to the lawsuit.