An Annandale woman is suing Virginia Attorney Gen. Ken Cuccinelli, claiming she was wrongfully fired under suspicion she posted “unflattering comments” about him.
Samantha Vanterpool, a former assistant to Cuccinelli, filed a lawsuit last week in which she claims she was fired after comments that called Cuccinelli an “’egomaniac’ who was ‘NEVER in the AG’s office and solely uses the position for self-promotion’” showed up online on a blog, according to the Washington Post.
The blog, the Post reports, was a May 2012 Washington Post blog about Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling’s criticism of Cuccinelli’s planned trip to Iowa. The comments were posted anonymously under the username “bzbzsammy.”
In the suit, Vanterpool does not admit to posting the comment, but argues that if she had, she was still unjustly fired for “exercising her free speech rights,” the Post reports. She also asks for damages and back pay and to be reinstated in her former position.
The accusation comes as Cuccinelli runs for Virginia's governor, a position that will be decided in the 2013 elections.
The lawsuit is the second controversy surrounding the Republican candidate in less than a week: While Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell has spent the last couple of weeks giving back thousands of dollars gifts to Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli said Wednesday he intends to do no such thing with the $18,000 in gifts he also received from the executive.