This just sounds ugly.
U.S. Rep. Al Green asked a federal judge Friday to find that he never discriminated against an ex-employee he claims is trying to shake him down for $1.8 million.
The employee's lawyer countered that Green forced the woman to have sex and filed the lawsuit because he doesn't want to pay for his misdeeds.
Although Green and the former employee had a "romantic encounter'' at her home in May 2007, Bill Miller, a spokesman for the congressman, said the claim of sexual assault, coming 18 months after the fact, is desperate and totally false.
Green's lawsuit alleges that Lucinda Daniels, the former director of Green's Houston office, has threatened to sue him for workplace discrimination if he doesn't pay up. Green says the woman voluntarily resigned three months ago. Green also alleges the woman is a drug user who accidentally taped a conversation onto his voicemail while buying cocaine.
"He was being extorted. A deadline was given of today,'' said Ben Hall, attorney for Green, a Democrat elected to Congress in 2004. "It's a pure shakedown. If she has a case, the place to do it is at the courthouse.''
Lawyer Chip Lewis, who represents Daniels, said she had been hoping to spare herself the embarrassment of going public and going to the police about the May 2007 incident. But Lewis said she will now make a sexual assault complaint and file a civil lawsuit against Green.
Lewis said it was Green's lawyer, Hall, who asked to negotiate a settlement. But Hall denies that and, through political consultant Miller, says he can prove it was Daniels who approached Green for money.