A former aide to Rep. Bobby Scott on Friday accused the Virginia Democrat of sexual misconduct and said he fired her after she rebuffed his alleged advances.
At a press conference, Macherie Reese Everson, who goes by Reese, said that Scott touched her inappropriately on two occasions in 2013 and that he flirted with her.
Everson said that when she declined the overtures, she was “retaliated against” by being fired.
Scott strongly denied the accusations.
Everson said the conduct occurred when she was a Congressional Black Caucus Foundation fellow working in Scott’s office, when she was “touched inappropriately” by the lawmaker on her back and knee on two separate occasions and that he once invited her to join him at an event in California.
She said Scott asked her, “If you go, are you going to be good?”
“And I said, yeah,” Everson said. “He said, ‘Well, if you’re going to be good, what’s the point of you coming?'”
Scott then became angry, Everson said, adding that there was “no physical contact” during that interaction.
After she rebuffed the advances, Everson said she was “wrongfully terminated.”
“I was prevented from moving forward in my career because I attempted to run from a situation that was sexually inappropriate, where I had been propositioned to have a sexual relationship with my boss that I did not want,” she said at the press conference.
Everson’s attorney, Jack Burkman, called on Scott to resign for the House to launch an Ethics Committee investigation into the lawmaker.
Scott strongly denied Everson’s allegations in a statement.
“I absolutely deny this allegation of misconduct. I have never sexually harassed anyone in my 25 years of service in the United States Congress, or in my 40 years of public service, or at any other time,” he. “Sexual harassment and assault are serious issues deserving of critical attention and review. No one should be subjected to sexual harassment or be treated unfairly.”
“The recent national discussion about sexual harassment is valued and important to our work to continue to make the workplace free from harassment and discrimination. False allegations will squander this momentous opportunity for dialogue on meaningful change in the workplace,” Scott added. “I am confident that this false allegation will be seen for what it is when the facts are adequately reviewed.”
At her press conference, Everson said she’d filed a complaint with the District of Columbia Office of Human Rights in 2015 about the alleged behavior. She said the complaint “went into mediation” and she withdrew it earlier this year.
Last month, Everson said during an interview with Fox News that she’d been sexually harassed by a member of Congress but didn’t name the member.
Weeks later, Everson and her attorney called a press conference, where she had intended to reveal her allegations publicly, but canceled it at the last minute. Everson said Friday she canceled the original press conference because she “couldn’t find the courage.”
CORRECTION (Dec. 15, 2017, 4:55 p.m.): An earlier version of this article misstated the organization where Macherie Reese Everson worked as a fellow. It was the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, not the Congressional Black Caucus.