Politics

Top DNC Host Committee Officials Under Investigation Over Toxic Work Environment Allegations

KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI/AFP via Getty Images

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Andrew Kerr Investigative Reporter
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The host committee of the 2020 Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee is under investigation over allegations of a toxic work culture cultivated by its two top officials.

The board overseeing the DNC host committee launched the investigation after the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel contacted the committee over the weekend about concerns it had received about its president, Liz Gilbert, and chief of staff, Adam Alonso.

Two unnamed individuals who have worked with the host committee accused Gilbert and Alonso in interviews with the Sentinel of giving lucrative contracts to their friends in New Jersey and of focusing their efforts primarily to increase their own political clout at the expense of the DNC host committee.

“It’s one of the worst — if not the worst — I have worked on,” one of the individuals told the Sentinel about the host committee.

The other individual told the outlet that it got to the point that they got sick to their stomach working with the host committee. (RELATED: DNC Rule Change Will Make It Easier For Seven-Figure DNC Donor Michael Bloomberg To Qualify For Debates)

The host committee is working alongside the Democratic National Convention Committee to organize the 2020 Democratic National Convention, which is scheduled to start in mid-July. The host committee is tasked with raising $70 million and organizing 15,000 volunteers to put on the event.

Gilbert “will not have direct contact with staff” during the investigation, according to a letter sent from the board of the host committee obtained by the Sentinel. Alonso has been placed on administrative leave pending the results of the investigation. Both will receive pay during the investigation.

However, Alonso lost his $15,000 consulting gig with the New Jersey Democratic Party on Monday evening after the allegations of a toxic work environment at the DNC host committee were made public.

“We are committed to an inclusive, non-discriminatory, and supportive environment at the host committee and we will work to ensure that all employees live up to these ideals,” the board’s letter stated.

Chair of the Democratic National Committee Tom Perez speaks during a press conference at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on March 11, 2019, to announce the selection of Milwaukee as the 2020 Democratic National Convention host city. (KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

Chair of the Democratic National Committee Tom Perez speaks during a press conference at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on March 11, 2019, to announce the selection of Milwaukee as the 2020 Democratic National Convention host city. (KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

“The claims made by employees of the Milwaukee 2020 Host Committee present an unacceptable and upsetting environment,” Democratic National Convention CEO Joe Solmonese said in a statement Monday. “The Milwaukee 2020 Host Committee Board of Directors is moving forward with a plan to restore an office culture that aligns with the values and expectations of our party.”

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