In what appears to be the latest sign of trouble for Virginia Democratic Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax following allegations of sexual assault, several of his staffers have announced their resignations.
Two staffers on Fairfax’s political action committee and two of his government employees have resigned. Dave Mills and Courtney McCargo, the executive director and fundraiser, respectively, for Fairfax’s We Rise Together PAC have stepped down, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Fairfax’s policy director, Adele McClure, and his scheduling director, Julia Billingsly, are the two government staffers who have also decided to walk away.
The resignations come as two different sexual assault allegations against Fairfax have imperiled his political career.
The scandal began when an allegation against Fairfax first surfaced earlier in February. Tyson, a college professor, has since come forward publicly and accused the lieutenant governor of forcing her to perform oral sex in a hotel room during the 2004 Democratic National Convention. The scandal exploded when a second woman, Meredith Watson, issued a statement on Friday, claiming Fairfax raped her in 2000 while they were students at Duke University.
Fairfax, who won election as Virginia’s lieutenant governor in November 2017, has vehemently denied both allegations.
“Lt. Governor Fairfax has an outstanding and well-earned reputation for treating people with dignity and respect,” read a statement from his office on Feb. 4. “He has never assaulted anyone — ever – in any way, shape, or form.”
Despite his denials, a growing number of prominent Democrats have called on him to resign, including former Virginia Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe, and presidential hopefuls Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Democratic New York Sen. Kristen Gillibrand and Democratic New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker.
Fairfax’s private employer, the Washington, D.C.-based law firm Morrison and Foerster, announced they were placing him on leave as it investigates the allegations. The decision deals a major financial blow to Fairfax, who only makes $36,321 as Virginia’s lieutenant governor.
Fairfax is not alone as he faces mounting scandal. Virginia Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam and Attorney General Mark Herring have both admitted to wearing blackface in their youth.
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