In 2010, Rep. Laura Richardson sent a concerned email to her chief of staff, Shirley Cooks.
"I have asked before that you not send instructions as directives from congresswoman," Richardson wrote. "That's how people get called bullies."
But for someone so concerned with not looking like a bully, Richardson sure acted like one. After officially reprimanding the California Democrat on Thursday for making her staff perform campaign work and instructing them to lie about it, the House Ethics Committee released communication from Richardson's office, which was rife with "constant verbal and emotional abuse" according to one staffer's resignation letter.
In one memorable email exchange, staffer Ken Miller was instructed to show up at a Sunday event. He responded: "I will NOT be able to[.] I am still very sick. The best I can do is possibly call for a few hours."
Richardson fired back: "You didn't go last week and it is completely within your area. Make calls if you can help...Then go home for an hour or so and I can drive to [the] event and you can meet me there."
Miller replied that he needed rest, but he would make some calls and "do the best I can."
The committee fined Richardson $10,000 for ethical misconduct.