New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democrat and supporter of the #MeToo movement, is facing accusations that she sexually abused a former campaign staffer.
Lujan Grisham is facing accusations made last week by her former campaign communications director, James Hallinan, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.
Hallinan claimed that Grisham touched his genitals after pouring water on his crotch, characterizing the incident as a “slap and grab.”
He told the New Mexican that he is still haunted by the alleged assault, which he says took place at the home of New Mexico State Rep. Deborah Armstrong.
Haillinan also described the incident in a Christmas Day tweet.
“A governor … is not above the law for her sexual and physical abuse of employees including (me!!!) I’ll talk more when I return to the country,” Hallinan tweeted last Wednesday.
A governor @GovMLG is not above the law for her sexual and physical abuse of employees including (me!!!) I’ll talk more when I return to the country. @dominicgabello @vicrreyes @debarm @KOB4 @krqe @foxnewsalert @koat7news @newsguy44 #liar #predator pic.twitter.com/l9erfWsPb2
— James Hallinan (@JamesHallinan) December 25, 2019
In another tweet, he accused Lujan Grisham and her staff of attempting to cover up the incident and said he’d suffered “long, horrific, abuse” from the New Mexico Democrat.
Both Lujan Grisham and Armstrong have denied the incident took place, according to the New Mexican.
“It’s eaten away at me every single day, all the time. And I’m not the only one, like I tweeted. They can try to defame me and say I’m horrible, that I’m this or that. No one is perfect, and they can criticize me all they want, but that doesn’t change what happened,” Hallinan told the New Mexican in a phone interview last week.
Lujan Grisham has championed tough consequences for politicians who are accused of sexually abusing their subordinates, even in cases when the allegations are unproven.
In Nov. 2017, she called on Democratic Sen. Michael Padilla to end his bid for lieutenant governor after decade-old claims of sexual harassment against him resurfaced.
“My position on sexual harassment is clear: it is totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated by me or in my administration. Michael Padilla’s actions were wrong,” Lujan Grisham, a Democratic gubernatorial candidate at the time, said in a statement to The Associated Press.
“There is no room for excuses and he should withdraw his candidacy for lieutenant governor.”
During an interview with PBS’ “To the Contrary” aired in Nov. 2017, Lujan Grisham addressed the growing number of sexual misconduct allegations against members of Congress.
“It’s abusive. We need to do everything in our power to eradicate it,” she told host Bonnie Erbe.
Lujan Grisham also appeared to endorse the #MeToo movement in a since-deleted tweet she shared in 2018.