Andy Harris’ chief of staff looking to leave in aftermath of underage drinking scandal?

Sources tell me that Andy Harris’ Chief of Staff Kevin Reigrut is shopping his resume around in South Carolina in search of a job there. Reigrut was said to be the one responsible in the recent underage drinking scandal in Harris’ office that was broken by Joe Steffen (the response to that scandal proved everything Steffen said was right.)

Reigrut is reportedly a Maryland native and I have yet to find any ties that might move him to the Palmetto State. It would appear that after he was “disciplined” by Harris for his mistakes in the recent scandal that he may have been encouraged to look for something elsewhere.

Salary data from Legistorm indicates that Reigrut made $95,425 from 1/3/2011-9/30/2011. I’d estimate the annual salary for that would be somewhere in the $125K-$130K range. (If anyone with full paid Legistorm access has more complete data, leave a note in the comments.)

More on the Andy Harris Underage Drinking Scandal

Joe Steffen reported the underage drinking scandal in Andy Harris’ office first, then I wrote about it here at Inside Charm City. After it was reported here, FishbowlDC, WBAL-AM, Patch, The Baltimore Sun, and various other news outlets picked the story up.

Let’s recap the events of today related to this story.

Steffen reports that an underage intern in the office of Rep. Harris last summer was dismissed early from her internship program due to getting drunk at a going away party thrown for her in the Harris office. Steffen reports that Harris Chief of Staff Kevin Reigurt procured the alcohol consumed by the underage intern and that when she was dismissed from her program, Reigurt made a scapegoat out of another staffer, Laurel Schmuck (daughter of Peter Schmuck), who Steffen said was fired. Steffen also reported that Peter Schmuck confronted the congressman over the issue.

The Baltimore Sun reported that:

When the incident was brought to light, Harris, a Republican, disciplined his chief of staff, Kevin Reigrut, though Nawrocki would not say what action was taken.

WBAL Radio reported seemingly conflicting information:

“When it came to Rep. Harris’ attention that alcohol was being consumed in the office, he immediately made it clear that no alcohol is to be consumed by any one in any of his offices,” Harris spokesman Ryan Nawrocki told WBAL News.

Nawrocki would not say if Reigurt was disciplined, but he does say Reigurt remains Harris’ chief of staff.

Nawrocki also told WBAL News that Schmuck was not fired because of this incident.

Was Reigruit disciplined or not? Did the nuance in the differing statements from Nawrocki relate to when he talked to John Fritze of the Sun and when he talked to WBAL?

Both the Sun and WBAL say that Laurel Schmuck denied being fired. WBAL even ran her statement:

“I left Congressman Harris’s office in good standing several months after giving notice that I would be accepting a graduate fellowship in California in August. That was my only reason for leaving. I remain on good terms with the Congressman and appreciated the opportunity to work for him.”

That appears to be the only comment Laurel Schmuck made on the matter. The other facts as reported by Steffen don’t appear to be questioned by Schmuck or by anyone in Harris’ office.

Fritze of the Sun goes on to talk about “several” other drinking scandals in Hill offices but manages to only mention one (Rep. Larsen’s office) while leaving out the one in Rep. Palazzo’s office. I wonder where he got the idea for adding in that tidbit?

Report: Underage Drinking Scandal in Rep. Andy Harris’ Office

UPDATE: The following post has been updated to clarify things. Joe Steffen alleged that Peter Schmuck’s daughter was the scapegoat canned, not that she was the drunken intern.

Joe Steffen reports:

Late last summer (and I’d previously heard bits of the story – can you guess which parts were just recently brought to my attention?) Kevin Reigurt did something that boggles the mind.

In the name of Pro-life, Family Values Friendly, Congressman Andy Harris, Reigurt bought alcohol that was consumed at a party that took place in Harris’ Washington DC office. This party was to celebrate the completion of an internship program for a young woman whose time with Congressman Harris’ office was coming to a close. That part I’d previously heard and, to be blunt, it’s no big deal.

However, the young woman intern in question was underage – and was thrown out of the internship program as a result of getting trashed at the aforementioned Harris Party. THAT’s the part that was brought to my attention recently…and the fact that she was underage is a big deal.

Steffen goes on to provide more details about the party allegedly thrown by Harris’ Chief of Staff Reigurt. According to Steffen, Reigurt made the daughter of Baltimore Sun columnist Peter Schmuck a scapegoat in this scandal. After she was fired, Steffen reports Peter Schmuck confronted Harris.

This is the third drinking scandal to affect Capitol Hill offices in recent months.

Harris statement on Giffords shooting

Andy Harris, 1/10/11

Over the weekend I was horrified to learn about the shooting of my colleague Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. My family and I extend our deepest thoughts and prayers to Rep. Giffords, her family, staff and the people of Tucson, Az. We offer our sincerest condolences to the family and friends of the victims of this shooting who did lose their lives. There is no place in a free society for senseless acts of violence like this.

Harris names leadership team

Salisbury News reports on Congressman-elect Andy Harris’ leadership appointments.

They include:

  • Kevin Reigrut - Chief of Staff
  • Dave Schwartz - Deputy Chief of Staff and Director of Communications
  • Pat Daly - District Director
  • Ryan Nawrocki - Press Secretary

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