Former Employee Suing Gov. Edwards Following Allegations Against Former Aide
Juanita Washington, the woman who accused Governor Edwards’ former aide Johnny Anderson of sexual harassment, has filed a public records lawsuit in order to gain access to information related to Anderson’s tenure. Washington says she was forced to resign from her position after she made the accusation.
“I resigned because Johnny Anderson threatened me and before my last day came and after that evil man resigned, I told the Governor all of this. I wanted to keep my job and my family needed our insurance. The Governor said no,” said Washington.
The suit seeks documents, texts, and emails associated with Anderson.
Washington and her attorneys from Truth in Politics say Edwards has missed several deadlines after numerous requests to release public records concerning the harassment case. She filed a lawsuit on Tuesday demanding the release of those documents.
“It’s a sad day in Louisiana when it takes a lawsuit to reveal the truth. It’s a sad day when we have a Governor who, rather than apologize and admit a mistake, would resort to attacking a victim like me,” said Washington.
Edwards Deputy Executive Counsel Tina Vanichchagorn says that Truth in Politics requested 15 separate items pertaining to this case on August 8th. Vanichchagorn says each request takes time to prepare.
“And what those items cover are emails, text messages of many members of the Governor’s staff, dating back to January 11th of 2016. That is a huge amount of records we have to go through,” said Vanichchagorn.
She says the political organization also requested 49 other records in the last three months.
Washington says that she retracted her resignation after Governor Edwards fired Anderson over the allegations, and Washington says that Edwards would not let her have her job back. Vanichchagorn stated that was not the case.
“Ms. Washington was given the opportunity to withdraw her resignation and to continue her employment with our office. She declined to do that,” said Vanichchagorn.
Vanichchagorn said that within six hours of learning of the allegations against Anderson, Governor Edwards had him removed from office.