Where is the empathy Katie Porter is always calling for?
House Rep. Katie Porter came under fire this week after it was revealed she “punished” a staffer who allegedly gave the Democratic congresswoman Covid, RadarOnline.com has learned.
Sasha Georgiades, a veteran of the United States Navy who joined Porter’s office in 2020 as a Wounded Warrior Fellow, spoke out this week to claim the 48-year-old Democratic House Rep. forced her to work remotely after she accidentally showed up to work with Covid in July.
Georgiades also claimed Porter “lashed out” at her in July over the alleged Covid incident, and the congresswoman refused to speak with Georgiades for the remaining three weeks of her fellowship.
“Why did you not follow office protocol on testing?” Porter allegedly asked Georgiades in a text message dated July 9 and since obtained by Reason magazine. “It’s really disappointing.”
“Sasha — I cannot allow you back in the office, given your failure to follow office policies,” another message from Porter allegedly read after Georgiades apologized.
“Cody will be in touch [about] having your personal effects shipped or delivered to your home, and will lay out your remote work schedule and responsibilities for your last few weeks.”
Two days later, on July 11, it was revealed Congresswoman Porter had contracted Covid. It is unclear whether Porter contracted the virus directly from Georgiades, but the California House Rep. then allegedly messaged the staffer again to berate her over the incident.
“Well you gave me COVID,” Porter purportedly messaged Georgiades on July 11. “In 25 months, it took you not following the rules to get me sick.”
“My children have nobody to care for them,” the congresswoman allegedly added.
“She never spoke a word to me after this,” Georgiades told Reason. “If she thought she was going to go the rest of her life without it, that’s impossible.”
Georgiades’s fellowship then ended weeks later in August.
A spokesperson for House Rep. Porter has since responded to the staffer’s claims and admitted that while the text messages are authentic, Porter was not punishing Georgiades but rather instructing her to work remotely for the safety of other workers in the office.
“This former employee was not fired,” the spokesperson said. “She was a fellow in our office, and weeks before she breached COVID protocol in July, we had already mutually agreed on an end date in August 2022.”
“Congresswoman Porter was informing her that she would work from home for the remaining three weeks of her fellowship,” Porter’s spokesperson clarified further.