State Rep. Brooks Landgraf, R-Odessa, on Wednesday night said a staff member in his Austin office has resigned from his office and employment with the Texas House of Representatives following the release of a DPS report that found the staff member, a law school graduate, had lied about being given a date rape drug by a lobbyist.
The staff member also convinced another employee that she too had been given a date rape drug during the Easter holiday weekend while they were outside of the office and at an Austin club.
The report identified the woman as Jennifer Reeves. The report found she had made up the story of being given the drug to cover up cheating on her boyfriend.
Landgraf, via phone from Austin, said he was in Odessa that weekend and was told that the two staff members had been drugged.
“I had no reason not to believe it and I was trying to be supportive,” he said adding that he found out about the DPS findings on Tuesday and was conveying what was in the report.
He spoke by phone shortly before meeting with his staff.
He said the second staffer, who was convinced that she had been drugged, asked for an investigation. “And the truth came to light,” Landgraf said.
He said the DPS report does not accuse either woman of committing a crime. “No one filed a false report,” he said “That line was not crossed.”
He said the Travis County DA’s office has also declined to prosecute.
“I am fully cooperating with DPS investigators and the Travis County District Attorney’s Office,” Landgraf said.
Landgraf said sexual harassment and sexual assault are serious crimes and “issues I do not take lightly. When a staffer told me she believed she had been drugged through a drink, I took her claim seriously.
“I’m disappointed to learn that a DPS investigation concluded that a staffer propagated fabricated claims that she was drugged by a lobbyist in an alleged effort to cover her own indiscretions. As of May 26th, that staffer is no longer on my staff or an employee of the Texas House of Representatives.
“Sexual harassment and sexual assault are serious crimes and issues I do not take lightly. When a staffer told me she believed she had been drugged through a drink at an out-of-office event that I didn’t attend, I took her claim seriously. I now know that there is no evidence to support that claim.
“This has been a terrible situation, but I remain committed to fostering an environment where true victims of sexual assault or harassment feel safe and comfortable coming forward. I will also continue to work with DPS investigators.”
Landgraf said he is committed to accountability and justice “when a person lies to law enforcement or breaks the law. I also remain committed to fostering an environment where true victims of sexual assault or harassment feel safe and comfortable coming forward.”