The Norman Transcript

Nation/World

April 13, 2014

Disappointment, forgiveness mix in La.

(Continued)

MONROE, La. —

McAllister hasn’t appeared publicly since the weekly Ouachita Citizen posted online a grainy security tape showing McAllister and Peacock kissing in the congressman’s district headquarters.

McAllister’s Washington-based spokesman said that Peacock has since resigned voluntarily, but the lawmaker had no plans to step down.

McAllister won a special election last fall to succeed Republican Rodney Alexander, who resigned to take a spot in Jindal’s Cabinet.

He sought support from social conservatives. For example, the Robertsons are outspoken Christians, and McAllister appeared in ads with his family, promising to “defend our Christian way of life.” But he defied Republican orthodoxy by calling for Medicaid expansion under President Barack Obama’s health care law. That won him the endorsement and runoff campaign muscle of Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo, a Democrat who finished third in the initial open primary.

Coming into office an outsider, McAllister turned to the establishment that he’d beaten.

He took over the lease for Alexander’s Monroe office, where the security videotape was taken, and he retained top members of Alexander’s staff.

One of those aides, McAllister’s district director, Leah Gordon, has figured prominently in speculation about how the tapes were leaked to the newspaper.

The congressman’s office floated the idea of an FBI investigation into the leaked tape, but then backed off.

Bill Land, an architect who owns and shares the building with McAllister’s office, said just two people had access to digital security archives: one of his staff members and Gordon, McAllister’s district director.

Land’s employee, Lance Hilton, told the AP that he’s never accessed old footage. But he said Gordon reviewed tape on multiple occasions, including when she served as Alexander’s district director. Hilton said she usually told him she suspected theft by an employee.

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