‘Abhorrent’: Consulting firm issues statement after reports that lobbyist used ‘date-rape’ drug on Capitol staffer

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Consulting firm HillCo Partners is launching an internal investigation after allegations about a lobbyist drugging a staff member came to light.

A Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman confirmed Saturday they are investigating those allegations, which involve a “date-rape drug” being used on a Capitol staffer.

HillCo Partners’ co-founder told KXAN they received a tip that an employee is a “person of interest.”

The message begins with a statement that the firm “joins the Capitol community in condemning any form of violence or other unwanted conduct against women and strongly supports the right of women to have their voices be heard and believed.”

The firm’s website says it provides lobbying, public policy, communications and regulatory services.

“If facts come to light that anyone associated with HillCo partners had any involvement in such conduct, that person will be immediately terminated,” the message read. “In the meantime, we have taken aggressive steps internally to address this issue.”

Read the full message below:

Members of the Capitol community received this message Sunday from HillCo Partners.

Assistant Chief of the Texas DPS Media and Communications Office Travis Considine said Saturday that further details could not be released.

State Sen. José Menéndez sent a letter to Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dade Phelan, requesting additional sexual harassment training and establishing a hotline where victims can make anonymous reports about such behavior.

“Considering the history of the Capitol and the prevalence of this behavior, we must take action,” said his letter in part. “We have a culture that offers little support for victims and many fear of speaking out, believing it would lead to retaliation or the ending of their career by the perpetrator.”

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