Let's start with The Inky:
Republican Senate candidate Sean Parnell is trying to fight off attacks about temporary protective orders issued against him — and his opponents are using that as more fodder to go after him.
Parnell, endorsed by former President Donald Trump, has battled attempts by supporters of fellow Republican Jeff Bartos to air attack ads about the issue, threatening to sue them and TV stations, and recently sought a gag order to prevent his estranged wife from talking about the protective orders. [Name bolding in original.]
A threatened lawsuit? Did someone say something about "threatening to sue" the media outlets who aired Bartos' attack ads?
Anyway, on the one hand my first instinct is for radio silence on something like this. As I wrote recently, my middle-aged memory belched up an old saying that fits here:
When your rivals are fighting amongst themselves, let them.
I don't know the provenance of the saying (or its origin or even its ultimate
source) but there you have it anyway.
On the other hand, this is too delicious to keep quiet.
So, what's the story here?
The Washington Post has a good rundown:
[Sean] Parnell is in a tough primary battle for the nomination for an open seat in the U.S. Senate, a race crucial to Republicans’ hopes to take back the chamber.
A few years ago, the former Army captain was ordered by law enforcement to leave his home and give up his guns. He is in the process of a divorce as he runs for the Senate, and we’ve learned that Parnell’s wife had called 911 in relation to a domestic dispute and filed two protection-from-abuse orders against him that were lifted after a few days.
Now he’s in a custody battle over his three children — prompting one Republican operative to remark that they’ve never heard of a top Senate candidate losing custody of children midrace.
The trouble in Parnell’s personal life blew into the open days after Trump endorsed him. Another top Republican candidate, Jeff Bartos, is running ads talking about all this. Parnell has accused Bartos of lying.
Things could get worse for Parnell. He went to court to seal divorce records and to order his wife not to talk about the prior restraining orders. But a judge recently ruled that much of that information can become public and that his wife can talk about what happened.
As with all things legal, the official status of those PFA orders needs to be clarified. Here it is from The Inky:
Neither was extended after a full hearing involving both parties, and both were later expunged. [Bolding added.]
Did you know that Sean's soon to be ex-wife is also
suing her former employers
(The American Warrior Initiative and the Fairway Independent Mortgage
Corporation - both entities with strong ties to Sean Parnell)? Take a look:
Nature of the Action
This is an action brought pursuant to Sex Discrimination and Religious Discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, retaliation, and creation of a hostile work environment, as well as the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act. The Plaintiff, seeks declaratory, injunctive and compensatory relief for the discriminatory conduct, the retaliation and hostile work environment she endured, and for being terminated from her position by the Defendants in this matter.
The Plaintiff is Sean's soon to be ex-wife and the Defendants are The American Warrior Initiative and the Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation.
According to the Complaint's Statements of Fact, Sean's wife worked mostly for the mortgage company (her "primary job responsibilities were under Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation" it says) rather than the veterans' charity.Did you know that, according to those same Statements of Fact, she made 80K a year as an event planner for these two organizations?
80K - that's a lot of event planning, amirite?
According to the Statements of Fact, Sean's wife worked directly under a woman named Louise Thaxton and from her bio we learn something very interesting about the relationship between Fairway and the AWI::
Louise is a national advocate for America’s veterans and is the Director and co-founder of the American Warrior Initiative, the non-profit of Fairway... [Emphasis added.]
Anyway, the Statements of Fact points out that that the mortgage company was "heavily faith-based" and so divorce was frowned upon.
The Statements of Fact go on:
20. When [Louise Thaxton, the Plaintiff's supervisor] learned that the Plaintiff had separated from her husband, she refused to speak to the Plaintiff for approximately six (6) months and had sided with the husband, Mr. Parnell.
21. Plaintiff’s failure to conform to certain ideals professed for “Christian women” in the company ultimately led to her termination.
22. On August 30, 2019, the Plaintiff had a discussion with her supervisor, Louise Thaxton, wherein she expressed concern to Thaxton that she knew there were unethical actions taking place within the nonprofit.
23. The Plaintiff also told Thaxton that she would be talking with Human Resources regarding her concerns.
24. Thaxton was immediately hostile towards her and told her that she was being insubordinate and unprofessional, and within an hour the Plaintiff was terminated.
Um what?? "Unethical actions" at Sean Parnell's nonprofit? Do tell!
For the record, I have no idea what Sean's wife might be talking about. For all I know, she could've been dropping the phrase into the conversation in order to give herself some "whistle blower" cover.
But can someone please ask Sean Parnell about what his wife said about his nonprofit?
Wait. Am I going to be sued by Sean Parnell for blogging about this? For blogging about some legal documents filed nearly a year ago?