Three senior staff members of State Rep. Jolanda Jones have resigned, citing a hostile work environment. The former employees say the Houston Democrat created an “abusive and hostile” work environment.
The letter written on the State Rep’s letterhead, Chief of staff Kory Haywood, legislative director Catherine Mouer and district director Yesenia Wences pointed out alleged personal relations between Jones’s son and an intern, abuse of staff in personal affairs and potential conflict of interest.
An excerpt from the letter stated. “We accepted our positions in your office with the intent and want to serve the people of Texas and improve the lives of the HD 147 constituents. Yet, our ability to best fulfill our job duties and achieve our goals has been stifled by internal office matters and a lack of focus from our leader.”
In response to the letter State Rep. Jones said, ” “Some on my staff have decided this job is not for them… wish them good luck and success in their next endeavors.”
“We, as a collective of senior staff, have repeatedly attempted to curb your behavior and address the type of work environment you have bred over the last month,” the letter states. “But, to no avail; we haven’t seen any success.”
The former employees also alleged that Jones had failed to intervene in what they characterized as an inappropriate relationship between the lawmaker’s son, Jio, and an intern in the office. They also said the lawmaker directed staff to assist in arranging health care for a relative.
Jones said in a statement that working in the Legislature stressful and demanding, describing a “daily fight” on behalf of constituents.
“Some on my staff have decided this job is not for them,” Jones said. “I wish them good luck and success in their next endeavors.”
The Defender is attempting to speak with Jones for this developing story.
See the letter below.