2 top aides leaving Bartlett

April 24, 1993|By John B. O'Donnell | John B. O'Donnell,Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON -- Two senior aides to Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett, including one who made "inappropriate behavior" charges against his chief of staff last month, are leaving the Maryland Republican's staff less than four months after he took office.

Debra Royal, Mr. Bartlett's $42,000-a-year legislative director, and James Lafferty, his $80,000-a-year deputy administrative assistant for policy and communication, will move to the staff of the House Republican Policy Committee on Monday, according to the committee director.

Mr. Bartlett will continue to pay their salaries, said Ed Buckham, director of the conservative think tank that serves House Republicans. He said all staff salaries are financed by members of Congress.

"They came to me," Mr. Buckham said of Ms. Royal and Mr. Lafferty. "Both said they were looking to transition out of there.

"I went to Mr. Bartlett and he said, 'OK.' "

Ms. Royal and Mr. Lafferty, both of whom had key jobs in the campaign last year, would not talk about the moves. Nor would Mr. Bartlett, who represents the 6th District.

Ms. Royal and Jennifer Stevens, a legislative assistant who worked for her, went to the House Fair Employment Practices office last month to complain of "inappropriate behavior" on the part of Tim Woodford, Mr. Bartlett's chief aide.

Mr. Woodford was accused of shoving a staffer's face into his armpit, touching female staffers' collarbones and telling a female staffer in Mr. Bartlett's Cumberland office that she was "doing a fine job for a woman."

After their complaint was publicized, four other Bartlett staffers -- a man and three women -- called a news conference to denounce Ms. Royal and to praise Mr. Woodford. That was followed by a period of considerable staff turmoil, though Mr. Bartlett and others tried to put the best face on the situation.

Mr. Lafferty, according to a source outside the Bartlett office, did not see eye-to-eye with Mr. Woodford on a number of issues.

Mr. Lafferty's departure was blamed on policy differences and unhappiness with press coverage.

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