Republican Representative Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina has been in the news a lot recently, almost exclusively for negative reasons.
The latest scandal has come to public attention thanks to a former staffer who was fired after being denied leave for two family emergencies in the same week. The staffer has filed a labor dispute over their termination.
In a recording of a conversation with the co-founder of nonpartisan PAC American Muckrakers' David Wheeler—reported on by Smoky Mountain News—former Cawthorn congressional caseworker Lisa Wiggins made significant accusations against the Representative and of his behavior while in office.
It's worth noting North Carolina state laws allow recording of phone conversations as long as one of the people consents to the recording.
Wiggins said she was denied leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) when her uncle died and her husband suffered a heart attack in the same week.
In addition to being inappropriately denied FMLA leave, Wiggins made several other accusations against Cawthorn.
She said Cawthorn closed all of his offices in the state except for the main office in Hendersonville because he was intentionally trying to avoid constituents.
She told Wheeler:
"I know that because I drove and closed them all. He didn’t have enough caseworkers to man them."
"He didn’t care, he doesn’t care about his constituents. He does not care."
She claimed he was especially excluding constituents in the western part of the state.
"If you come from Cherokee County, you’re driving five hours to see your Congressman. But you can’t see your Congressman anyway when you go to the office."
"There’s no way you can get a meeting with him unless he’s trying to pull some votes and that’s about the only way."
She didn't have a high opinion of Cawthorn as a person either.
"As far as the candidate himself, I mean, he’s just a bad person."
"He’s a habitual liar, and he’s going to say and do anything he can to your face but behind your back he’s completely opposite."
"There’s some good stories I have—a lot of good stories."
Wiggins added there were more liquor bottles than water bottles in the one remaining Cawthorn office in Hendersonville.
Cawthorn has been cited several times for driving under the influence and subsequently driving with a suspended license.
Twitter users were unsurprised by the news Cawthorn wasn't a shining example of human decency.
"People need to know how this man really is."
"He’s still got a lot of people fooled."
As a member of the House of Representatives, Cawthorn is up for reelection in November 2022 if he makes it onto the ballot.
Before then, Cawthorn will face other Republicans who vowed to primary him for his seat in Congress.