Lawsuit filed against Gov. Edwards' administration in Johnny Anderson sexual harassment case

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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A lawsuit involving the Johnny Anderson sexual harassment case has been filed against Governor John Bel Edwards' administration. Anderson, a former staff member for Gov. Edwards, resigned from his position in 2017 amid allegations of sexual harassment.

Johnny Anderson | Photo Source: WAFB

The allegations came from Juanita Washington, a former Office of the Governor employee.

Anderson previously stepped down from his position as the chairman of the Southern University Board of Supervisors because of similar allegations.

On Tuesday, Oct. 8, Truth in Politics, a watchdog group, announced the filing of the lawsuit, which claims the organization did not receive documents, texts, and emails from key members of the governor’s staff after making a public records request.

The organization said it sent the request Aug. 8. The request was acknowledged by the Office of the Governor on Aug.12, and documents were to be provided Sept. 27, according to TIP.

TIP’s news release said the date was pushed back, prompting the group to file the lawsuit.

A press conference was held Tuesday, which included Washington urging the administration to do more to address sexual misconduct at the highest levels of state government.

During that press conference, Edwards’ campaign is said to have claimed Washington was offered an opportunity to rescind her resignation from the governor’s office. Washington claims that isn’t true.

“That’s a lie. I never spoke to Matthew Block, and nobody from the Office of the Governor ever contacted me. They continue to be dishonest, and this was just one more opportunity to discredit me and victim shame,” said Washington in a statement Tuesday.

The announcement of the lawsuit comes ahead of the primaries on Saturday, Oct. 12.

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