Rep. Valerie Longhurst criticized over ‘scathing’ email Jon Offredo, The News Journal
House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst is under fire over an email response she sent to the University of Delaware and one of its employees who questioned and criticized lawmakers over exclusive raises given to legislative aides.
Fran Fletcher, a policy scientist at UD, sent an email from her university account to Longhurst and other lawmakers last Wednesday, writing to express her “total disgust” with the raises, some of which were substantial. She questioned where the lawmakers stood on the issue and asked what they would do about it.
Legislators’ emails are not considered public records under Delaware state law, but the exchange and succeeding emails were obtained by The News Journal.
“I am outraged that someone from leadership would use their position to threaten a constituent and their job because she asked questions about an article in the paper,” Rep. Kim Williams, D-Newport, wrote in an email to House Democrats.
Longhurst copied UD interim President Nancy Targett in her response last Friday that explained how the raises were given and pointed out that lawmakers control the purse strings for Delaware’s institutes of higher education.
“I do as ALL members of the General Assembly respect our state employees for they serve our state in many capacities,” Longhurst wrote. “We also respect our universities and colleges by supporting them through funding and benefits.”
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