A highly-paid Federal Communications Commission (FCC) official’s confession to having sex with a Washington Post reporter in his office as part of a 2013 lawsuit seemingly went completely unnoticed in the media.
Thomas Reed, director at the FCC’s Office for Communications Business Opportunities (OCBD), has since gone on working in the same position, unpunished and drawing his lucrative six-figure salary.
In early 2013, FCC employee Sharon K. Stewart sued the FCC in federal court, claiming she was the victim of a hostile work environment at OCBD, an FCC division that advises commissioners on “issues, rulemakings, and policies affecting small, women, and minority-owned communications businesses.”
Stewart claims that a male co-worker who shared her cubicle routinely viewed pornography in the office, and even invited other men over to view it, which they did with vocal glee.
Stewart further claims that she complained to her superior, Reed, only to be punished by being removed from interesting projects and instead assigned dull administrative tasks that were properly the responsibility of her porn-watching co-worker. Stewart also says she was denied merit and performance awards as a result of her complaint.
Stewart’s lawsuit remains ongoing after three years. The most fascinating part of the lawsuit has likely already occurred, thanks to a court deposition in which Reed admits to having sex with a then-Washington Post reporter inside his FCC office. (RELATED: Republicans Want To Ban Porn Watching On Federal Computers)
Reed’s admission comes in very blunt terms during a deposition held May 29, 2013, as part of an earlier complaint made by Stewart. The deposition itself is quoted in a memorandum Stewart filed in in July 2015 as part of her lawsuit.
“Q. What are your views on pornography viewing on Federal premises?
A. [Reed] It’s not permissable.
Q. What are your views on having sex in a Federal office?
A. It’s not permissable.
Q. Did you have sex in your Federal Communications Commission office with Lonnae O’Neal Parker?
A. Yes, I did.
Q. And your office would be what office, sir?
A. My office here at the FCC.
Later in his deposition, Reed stated that he didn’t know what disciplinary action, if any, should be levied against federal employees who viewed pornography or had sex while in their offices.
Apparently, in Reed’s case, the preferred punishment is “nothing,” because despite admitting in a sworn deposition to having sex in his office, Reed remains OCBO director, taking home a tidy $158,700 per year. In fact, his indiscretion appears to have gone totally unnoticed outside of Stewart’s lawsuit, which has continued to very slowly grind its way through the federal court system.
The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to the FCC for details about what discipline, if any, Reed received, but did not receive a reply.
Lonnae O’Neal Parker, meanwhile, has pared her named back to Lonnae O’Neal after a divorce, and now writes at The Undefeated. O’Neal and Reed were married in the fall of 2015.
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