Campus Notebook: More legal expenses for Duncan Hunter, Capitol Police lawyer heads to DOJ

Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband makes big tech stock transactions

Former Rep. Duncan Hunter resigned from Congress in January after a campaign finance scandal, but he is still paying his lawyer. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Former Rep. Duncan Hunter resigned from Congress in January after a campaign finance scandal, but he is still paying his lawyer. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Posted February 14, 2020 at 10:47am

Senior Capitol Police lawyer leaves for DOJ

Rafique Anderson left his post as senior counsel for the Capitol Police to work for the Department of Justice in January. Anderson earned $168,411 as a Capitol Police lawyer.

In November, Kelly Scindian, a senior attorney for the department, and Anderson led the team that prevailed in a federal sexual discrimination case brought by former Capitol Police officer Chrisavgi Sourgoutsis, who was fired.

Sourgoutsis’ gender was a motivating factor in her dismissal, but the force still would have terminated her, the federal jury found in rejecting her sexual discrimination lawsuit. Sourgoutsis failed to prove she would have remained on the force but for her sex, according to the verdict. Also, the jury denied her bid for compensatory damages and found she did not prove she was fired for testifying in a sexual harassment investigation into her supervisor, Tyrone Vias.

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The trial exposed issues that have plagued the Capitol Police, including a lack of adherence to the department’s own rules by top officials. None of Sourgoutsis’ quarterly reports was completed when it came time to fill out the fourth and final assessment of her job performance. This lapse in completing quarterly reports was described as a “systemic failure” by former Capitol Police Chief Matthew Verderosa.

Eric Waldow, who is now a deputy chief, testified he did not follow the Capitol Police rules. He was several ranks above Sourgoutsis when he recommended she be fired, and none of her first-line supervisors had made a recommendation to fire her.

“We messed up,” Scindian conceded, but she maintained it did not have anything to do with Sourgoutsis’ gender.

The trial also revealed testimony in which Sourgoutsis said she was sexually harassed by her supervisor, Vias, who has since been promoted to lieutenant. Sourgoutsis said Vias made comments about the way she looked on her Facebook profile picture, including about how she wore her hair down, her makeup and that she looked pretty.

“I remember feeling violated,” Sourgoutsis said.

Duncan Hunter still has legal bills

Former Rep. Duncan Hunter resigned from Congress in January after a campaign finance scandal, but he is still paying his lawyer, Paul Pfingst. The California Republican paid Pfingst $15,760 for legal services, according to Hunter’s legal expense filing submitted on Feb. 10.

Hunter, along with his wife, Margaret, pleaded guilty to illegally converting more than $150,000 in campaign funds from 2010 through 2016 to buy goods and services for personal expenses.

Hunter’s actions ended his 11-year congressional career. He is scheduled to be sentenced March 17 and could serve between eight and 14 months in prison, although the decision is ultimately up to the judge.

Paul Pelosi’s big tech transactions

Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul, bought between $1 million and $5 million in Amazon.com stock and sold between $500,000 and $1 million of the company on Jan. 16. The California Democrat’s spouse also bought between $500,000 and $1 million in Facebook securities.

Cocaine arrest

On Feb. 11, a Capitol Police officer observed someone “slumped over on the sidewalk” near the 100 block of D Street Northwest. The police officer saw “what appeared to be a joint containing a brown, leafy substance” and a glass pipe. The officer discovered bags containing “a white, rock-like substance.” The white substance tested positive for cocaine. That person was arrested and charged with two counts of possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to Capitol Police arrest records.