Freshman Texas Rep. Jolanda Jones of Houston is having a tough time in her new office. Amid accusations of fostering a “hostile workplace,” her entire staff walked off the job last week in disgust.
The Democrat has positions to fill this week after her staff collectively quit. In a letter obtained by local media, the workers noted that as a collective, they “repeatedly attempted to curb your behavior and address the type of work environment you have bred over the last month.”
The letter went on to say that their efforts failed. “You have continued to endorse, encourage, and create an abusive and hostile work environment in the workplace without accountability for you or your relatives’ actions.”
The now-former staffers alleged that Jones’ son, Jiovanni “Jio” Christian Jones, was engaged in an improper relationship with an intern in his mother’s office.
He reportedly is also the General Counsel for a group called Elite Change, Inc. It is said to be a registered lobbying organization and involved with the finances of Jones’ campaign manager.
Multiple members of state @repjolandajones (D-Houston) legislative staff resigned on Wednesday, airing grievances and making allegations about the legislator’s conduct.@bradj_TX w/ @TheTexanNews has the details. #txlege https://t.co/RFNRljNjeA
— Konni Burton (@KonniBurton) March 30, 2023
According to the staff, the Democratic representative cajoled her district director to assume the blame for discovering her son’s inappropriate relationship. They said the younger Jones then threatened to fabricate a story about the director being involved in illegal activities.
They also accused the state representative of getting staffers entwined in personal business. This, they said, made them feel unsafe. Jones also allegedly made threats to fire them.
Jones won a special election and was sworn into office last May.
The former supporters asserted that public servants are intended to place the public good ahead of their own goals. That, they observed, was not how Jones conducted herself once attaining office.
Rather, they said they witnessed her abusing the position “as a bully pulpit to acquire more power and to protect your own self-interests.”
Jones blew off the criticisms of her departed staff. Instead, she tweeted that her job in the Texas Legislature is a tough one, “especially when you are in a daily fight to protect your constituents from attacks on their families, their civil rights, their schools, and their abilities to control their own bodies.”
She nonchalantly reported that her workers decided “this job is not for them.”