Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas is stepping down from her position as leader of one of the House Judiciary Committee’s key subcommittees.
Her departure follows a lawsuit from a former employee who says her sexual assault complaint was mishandled.
House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said it was Jackson Lee’s decision to step aside as chairwoman of the House Judiciary Crime Subcommittee.
Nadler said Jackson Lee’s decision “does not suggest any culpability.”
Instead, it “was to ensure the subcommittee’s important work continues.”
Jackson Lee has served in Congress since 1995.
She is chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, the fundraising arm of the Congressional Black Caucus.
Calls to Jackson Lee’s office and to the foundation were not immediately returned.
The National Alliance to End Sexual Violence had said it would not work with Jackson Lee as the lead sponsor of the Violence Against Women Act.
This comes following a lawsuit in which a former member of her office and the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation said Jackson Lee mishandled a report of sexual assault.
The lawsuit was filed in federal court in the District of Columbia.
The suit accuses Jackson Lee’s office and the foundation of retaliation after the woman was sexually assaulted by a foundation employee in 2015 and threatened to sue.
The National Alliance to End Sexual Violence, in a statement, called her a “strong ally.”
However, it said that it “cannot, however, support her continued lead sponsorship.”
In a statement last week, Jackson Lee’s office said it could not discuss internal personnel matters.
Even so, it “adamantly denies the allegations that it retaliated against, or otherwise improperly treated, the plaintiff.”
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