Former Democratic State Committee executive director Liz Gilbert and strategist Adam Alonso have been suspended from their positions with the Democratic National Convention’s host committee pending an investigation into an allegedly toxic work environment, according to a report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The two New Jersey politicos are being benched with pay until a Milwaukee-based law firm completes an investigation into claims that the two enabled a toxic culture, though it does not include any specific charges.
Citing an unnamed source, the report claimed Gilbert, president of the host committee, and Alonso, the committee’s chief of staff, directed contracts to firms in their home state.
Alonso served as deputy chief of staff to Gov. Phil Murphy before leaving in 2018. Gilbert was chief of staff to Tammy Murphy during the 2017 gubernatorial campaign.
The allegations come one week after Murphy’s former top campaign advisor, Julie Roginsky, alleged a massive toxic work environment on the governor’s campaign.
According to the Journal Sentinel, the Milwaukee 2020 Host Committee has retained an attorney to investigate “concerns about the work environment” for the Milwaukee 2020 Host Committee.
Gilbert will not be in the office and “will not have direct contact with staff,” and Alonso has been placed on administrative leave, the report said.
Joe Solomense, the Democratic National Convention CEO, told the newspaper that claims made by host committee employees “present an unacceptable and upsetting environment.”
The Journal Sentinel said that “two experienced political hands who have worked with the host committee described it as having a toxic culture rife with power struggles, backbiting and mismanagement.”
“It’s one of the worst — if not the worst — I have worked on,” one host committee official told the newspaper.