This week, GOP Rep. Tim Murphy announced that he would not seek reelection in 2018 after serving as a conservative mainstay since 2003. The news arrived after reports that the married congressman from Pennsylvania — who voted in favor of the House’s bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks — had pressured his mistress to have an abortion. A day later, further developments at Murphy’s Capitol Hill office led him to push up his retirement date to October 21. What happened?
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette broke news of the surprise development, and Politico dug in with an in-depth report on the “culture of intimidation” within Murphy’s office. According to staffers (some who went on-record with their names and others who chose to remain anonymous) within this report, Murphy and his longtime chief of staff, Susan Mosychuk, ran the office through a “reign of terror” that led to a “100-percent turnover rate.”
According to Politico’s findings, Murphy and Mosychuk held a “close personal relationship” that was well-known to Murphy’s GOP colleagues and staff alike. They both also reportedly favored menacing tactics. Further, Murphy was pushed by the GOP to retire immediately due to “his reported mistreatment” of staff, for his toxic working partnership with Mosychuk has apparently been “the topic of gossip and speculation for years.” Politico doesn’t dive into any specific allegations against Murphy other than being generally awful, but Mosychuk’s named tactics included verbal abuse and more:
Murphy’s office did not respond to the allegations of Mosychuk’s alleged verbal abuse of former workers. Some said they’ve gone to therapy or that it took years to rebuild their self-confidence.
“I tried to forget all of it because it was so horrible,” said one former Murphy employee. “Screaming was an everyday thing. The manipulation and the mind games. … Everybody in that office was depressed.” Another former staffer called it a “culture of intimidation” while a third said, “It took me a long time to have any confidence in myself.”
There’s much more to the report, including how staffers used a white-noise machine to drown out all the screaming so that visiting constituents wouldn’t hear the ruckus. One former staffer, Nick Rodondo, stated that Murphy’s office was “one of the worst places” he’d ever worked for, and not only that, but Rodondo said that he even saw — on multiple occasions — Murphy and Mosychuk “feed[ing] each other at events.” You can read the full Politico piece here, and it sounds like we haven’t heard the end of this adventure.