Judge Tosses Rep. Lujan Grisham’s Restraining Order Against Ex-Intern

Transgender intern claims she was discriminated against and fired

Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-N.M., obtained a restraining order that was later thrown out against a former intern in her office. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-N.M., obtained a restraining order that was later thrown out against a former intern in her office. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Posted March 22, 2018 at 9:39am

One day after Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham obtained a restraining order against a former intern who worked for her on Capitol Hill, another judge scrapped the order.

Lujan Grisham, who is vacating her seat in New Mexico’s 1st District to run for governor, said she was “fearful” of former intern Riley Del Rey, and said in court documents that she “believes Ms. Del Rey intends to cause her serious harm or her behavior will harm other people in public settings.”

But the second judge tossed the restraining order because Del Rey is already required to stay away from Lujan Grisham due to a pending criminal case, KRQE in Albuquerque reported.

At the Democratic pre-primary convention on March 10 in Albuquerque, Del Rey was arrested after interrupting Lujan Grisham’s speech. Officials charged her with disturbing the peace and “possible assault.” Del Rey spent a night in jail.

Lujan Grisham’s complaint for the restraining order also alleged Del Rey “barged into a room” and “disrupted” an event where she was speaking in Santa Fe on Feb. 11.

Del Rey, who is transgender, believes she was discriminated against in 2015 for her gender identity and subsequently fired from her internship through the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute in Lujan Grisham’s office. Del Rey was fired for poor work performance, the institute, which places interns in congressional offices, told the Albuquerque Journal in 2017.

The former intern filed a discrimination complaint with the Office of Compliance and is currently in mediation with the congresswoman’s office.

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