Lawsuit filed against governor’s administration in Johnny Anderson sexual harassment case

Lawsuit filed against governor’s administration in Johnny Anderson sexual harassment case
Johnny Anderson

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A lawsuit involving the Johnny Anderson sexual harassment case has been filed against the governor’s administration. Anderson, a former staff member for Governor John Bel Edwards, resigned from his position in 2017 amid allegations of sexual harassment.

The allegations came from Juanita Washington, a former Office of the Governor employee.

Anderson previously stepped down from his position as the chairman of the Southern University Board of Supervisors because of similar allegations.

Anti-Edwards political group Truth in Politics announced the filing of the lawsuit Tuesday (Oct. 8). The suit claims the organization did not receive documents, texts, and emails from key members of the governor’s staff after making a public records request.

The organization says it sent the request Aug. 8. The request was acknowledged by the Office of the Governor on Aug.12, and documents were to be provided Sept. 27, according to TIP.

TIP’s news release says the date was pushed back, prompting the group to file the lawsuit.

Washington urged the administration to do more to address sexual misconduct at the highest levels of state government during a press conference Tuesday.

During that press conference, Edwards’ campaign is said to have claimed Washington was offered an opportunity to rescind her resignation from the governor’s office. Washington claims that isn’t true.

“That’s a lie. I never spoke to Matthew Block, and nobody from the Office of the Governor ever contacted me. They continue to be dishonest, and this was just one more opportunity to discredit me and victim shame,” said Washington in a statement Tuesday.

“Because Ms. Washington was represented by a lawyer when she made her complaint, I was unable to speak to her directly and spoke to her lawyer,” Edwards’ executive counsel Matthew Block said. “Ms. Washington’s attorney told me that Ms. Washington did not want to return to the governor’s office.”

The announcement of the lawsuit comes ahead of the primaries on Saturday, Oct. 12.

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