Questions, doubt about credibility of Rep. Robert C. Scott’s accuser

Jeremy M. Lazarus | 12/22/2017, 3 p.m.
Instead, Marsheri Reese Everson appears to have completely fizzled with her claim that veteran Virginia Congressman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott, ...

In Facebook posts and in comments to the Free Press and other media outlets, scores of people have expressed certainty that Ms. Everson is more a fabricator than a truth teller.

Typical was the outrage of Beverly Davis, an educator who has worked with Rep. Scott for 38 years through the Richmond chapter of the nonprofit Continental Societies Inc., which hosts an annual gala to raise money for scholarships and other programs.

She said she was “shocked” when she heard about the accusation.

“There is no way, no how that this is true,” Ms. Davis said. “There has never been a hint of anything like that. And it’s not just me. I know 200 women who have had regular contact with him for one reason or another, and no one has ever had a bad word to say about him. It’s just horrible that anyone would make such a charge against a good man. I am just sick about it. What is the world coming to?”

Ms. Everson came to Rep. Scott’s office in September 2012 after receiving a fellowship from the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, which offers the program with the aim of helping young African-Americans gain experience on Capitol Hill by working in congressional offices and with committee staffs. The goal of the program is to boost the number of African-Americans working as staffers on Capitol Hill.

Interested in issues involving agriculture and energy, Ms. Everson was accepted to work in Rep. Scott’s office for 10 months and then was to find a position with a congressional committee for an additional 10 months.

The 2006 graduate of Michigan State University who had earned her law degree from DePaul University College of Law had come from Chicago, where she previously had a private legal practice and also had worked for the city’s investigative Inspector General’s Office.

At the time she headed to Washington, she dropped a $50,000 lawsuit she was pursuing in which she claimed she was fired from Chicago Inspector General’s Office after rejecting the sexual advances of a female supervisor.

In Rep. Scott’s office, Ms. Everson researched legislative matters, and makes no claim that anything untoward happened September 2012 and early May 2013.

According to emails the Free Press obtained between Ms. Everson and other mostly female staff in Rep. Scott’s office, she never raised any concern about the atmosphere in the office or the congressman’s behavior toward her.

Instead, between April 2013 and June 7, 2013, when she left, the email messages largely focus on her efforts to join a congressional committee for the second half of her fellowship.

The emails also undercut her claim that she “fled” the office because something had happened to her. For example, she organized a “So Long, Reese” party for the office on June 6, 2013, as she prepared to leave, a few weeks before the 10-month deadline.

On June 11, she wrote an email to a contact at the CBC Foundation expressing concern that she left Rep. Scott’s office too soon. She states that she left because she was optimistic about receiving an offer to work with the Senate Agriculture Committee, only to find that the offer did not materialize.

“I hope I have not burned a bridge with (Rep. Scott’s office) by not giving them a full two weeks notice,” she stated in the email.

She wound up getting a position with the House Financial Services Committee, whose ranking Democratic member is Congresswoman Maxine Waters of Los Angeles, another CBC member.

In August 2013, two months after going to work for the committee, Ms. Everson sent a warm email to Rep. Scott’s office offering thanks for the opportunity to work there and for the experience she gained.

While CBC Foundation officials declined to provide any comment on Ms. Everson or her work on Capitol Hill, information provided to the Free Press indicates that Ms. Everson struggled in the job and was let go from the committee and the CBC Foundation fellowship in December 2013.

Ten months later in October 2014, the Free Press has learned, Ms. Everson began claiming that her departure from the CBC Foundation fellowship was linked to alleged sexual harassment. At that point, she claimed that her harassment involved only “unwelcome” sexual comments.