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Virginia Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax's Law Firm Places Him on Leave, 4 Staffers Resign Following 2nd Sexual Assault Allegation

Virginia Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax (L) arrives on the Senate floor at the Virginia State Capitol, February 8, 2019 in Richmond, Virginia.
Virginia Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax (L) arrives on the Senate floor at the Virginia State Capitol, February 8, 2019 in Richmond, Virginia.
Photo: Drew Angerer (Getty Images)

I believe it was the captain of the Titanic who said “everyone is abandoning the ship because of the massive hole in the bottom!” If evacuation is the second sign of trouble, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax might want to see what’s going on below deck because two of his three government staffers, and two employees of his political action committee resigned Monday, following news of a second sexual assault allegation.


According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Dave Mills, who was the executive director of We Rise Together, and Courtney McCargo, a fundraiser for the PAC, have resigned. Mills, the newspaper notes, is the husband of Sen. Jennifer McClellan, D-Richmond, Fairfax’s possible replacement for lieutenant governor should Fairfax resign.

Fairfax also lost his policy director, Adele McClure and his scheduling director, Julia Billingsly, leaving only Lauren Burke, Fairfax’s communications director, and Larry Roberts, his chief of staff.


“The lieutenant governor appreciates the amazing service of his former staff members,” Burke said in a statement emailed to The Washington Post. “Their work and dedication was incredible. He certainly wishes them well and appreciates their service to the Commonwealth of Virginia.”

The lieutenant governor’s position is part-time, and Morrison & Foerster, the law firm where Fairfax was named partner last September, has placed Fairfax on paid leave while an outside firm conducts an investigation into the sexual assault allegations made by two women.

Vanessa Tyson, a California professor, says Fairfax forced her to perform oral sex on him after they met at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston. The second accuser, Meredith Watson, alleges that Fairfax assaulted her when the two were undergraduate students at Duke University. Neither reported their alleged assaults to law enforcement.

I did not sexually assault Meredith Watson, Vanessa Tyson or anyone else, and the truth will help to confirm that statement,” Fairfax told the Post. “And we’re looking forward to these independent investigations to get at the truth.” He said he was “anxious to get those underway.”

Senior Editor @ The Root, boxes outside my weight class, when they go low, you go lower.

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Not Enough Day Drinking

In an exclusive interview with The Root’s Jason Johnson published earlier today, Fairfax responded by saying