15th April 2014 · 0 Comments
By Christopher Tidmore
Villeré Calls for McAllister to Resign, Rep’s.Chief of Staff Threatens GOP Chairman… In a breaking story, a highly placed source in the Louisiana Republican Party has revealed to The Louisiana Weekly that not only has LAGOP Chairman Roger Villeré called for the resignation of Monroe Republican Congressman Vance McAllister, but, in a new stunning revelation, Villere’ reportedly was threatened when he did.
Allegedly, according to sources, Adam Terry, McAllister’s Chief of Staff, responded to Villere’s call for his boss’ resignation by vowing to “expose other elected Republican officials” who have engaged in affairs while in office.
Video of McAllister engaged in a long kiss with a staffer Melissa Hixon Peacock, age 33, who worked as his aide was recorded at his District office in Monroe, LA in December. The Ouachita Citizen obtained a copy of the video and posted it to its website Monday, April 7.
Within 48 hours of its release, husband Heath Peacock announced he would be divorcing his wife of six years, and Vance McAllister was publicly apologizing for his behavior to his wife of 16 years—as well as calling for an FBI investigation of who leaked the security footage.
According to a highly placed LAGOP source, Villeré initially intended to privately urge McAllister to resign on the logic that Hixon-Peacock was a federal employee in his office. Moreover, the reported illicit activities, including the kiss, occurred in a taxpayer funded office between a public employee and her direct superior, during office hours. “It’s not just about the affair…It’s a situation of a Congressman taking advantage of his position and engaging in inappropriate activities with employees under his preview,” the source explained.
Chairman Villeré attempted to telephone McAllister at his home, on his cell phone, and at the office, repeatedly asking the Congressman to call him on a urgent matter. Shortly thereafter, McAllister’s Chief of Staff Adam Terry called back asking what the Chairman wanted with his boss. According to the source, to whom the story was related later, Villeré replied that the matter was between he and the Congressman, but also admitted under questioning that he was going to ask McAllister to resign.
Reportedly, Terry hung up, and called back within three minutes. At that point, he began to threaten to expose affairs of “other elected Republican officials.”
Villeré has not spoken on the record about the exchange, but an LAGOP Executive Committee member confirmed the conversation with Terry–on background, noting that Terry’s threats left the Chairman no choice but to take a public stance, a motivation unexplained until now.
In a public statement Thursday, Villere’ did call upon the embattled congressman to step down, citing McAllister’s infidelity as an example of a well-worn hypocrisy in politics.
“A breach of trust of this magnitude can only be rectified by an immediate resignation. He has embarrassed our party, our state and the institution of Congress,” Villere maintained. “A video showing him engaged in conduct unbecoming a member of Congress, on public time, in a public office, with one of his employees, was the focus of the national press for days.”
Adam Terry has been running damage control for his boss all week. First, the Chief of Staff ruled out McAllister’s resignation, and the called the video’s release, “a serious breach” of security, implying that a conspiracy was afoot against his boss.
“There’s no doubt I’ve fallen short and I’m asking for forgiveness,” McAllister said in a public statement on April 7. “I’m asking for forgiveness from God, my wife, my kids, my staff, and my constituents who elected me to serve. Trust is something I know has to be earned whether you’re a husband, a father, or a congressman. I promise to do everything I can to earn back the trust of everyone I’ve disappointed.”
“From day one, I’ve always tried to be an honest man,” the Congressman continued. “I ran for Congress to make a difference and not to just be another politician. I don’t want to make a political statement on this, I would just simply like to say that I’m very sorry for what I’ve done. While I realize I serve the public, I would appreciate the privacy given to my children as we get through this.”
The Federal Election Commission, according to the Citizen, reports that Melissa Hixon Peacock donated $5,200 to McAllister’s congressional campaign last year. Her husband, Heath Peacock, donated the same amount.
“I’m just freaking devastated by the whole deal, man,” Heath Peacock said during an interview with CNN. “He has wrecked my life.”
The 40-year-old McAllister has five children; the Peacocks have a six-year-old son.
Possible Challengers to McAllister Include Black GOP State Sen… Candidates have been lining up since the call for resignation came out for this Republican safe seat, state Sen. Mike Walsworth amongst them. Former runoff opponent and Jindal intimate State Sen. Neil Riser (R) told The Times-Picayune it was “too early to be talking about” it. The leading Democrat in the last special election Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo is “not planning on running”, nor does another primary opponent GOP Public Service Commissioner Clyde Holloway, who says he is “very content” with his current job. Demo?cratic State Rep. Marcus Hunter also says he has no plans to run.
On the other hand, Democratic State Rep. Bob Johnson is “certainly very interested,” and Republican State Rep. Jay Morris uttered a coy “no comment.”
Most interesting, the State’s newest GOP African-American State Sen. Elbert Guillory is keeping his eye on it, and Republicans State Reps. Charles “Bubba” Chaney and Frank Hoffmann are not commenting.
This article originally published in the April 14, 2014 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.