Skip to main content

Top Paxton staff member resigns after story about social media comments

A top lawyer in Attorney General Ken Paxton's office has resigned following a report about a comment he made on social media belittling the recent flood of women who have come forward with sexual misconduct allegations.

Lead image for this article

A top lawyer in Attorney General Ken Paxton's office has resigned after making comments on social media belittling the recent flood of women who have come forward with sexual misconduct allegations.

Andrew Leonie was an associate deputy attorney general prior to his resignation. His post referenced the "#MeToo" movement, a growing group of people disclosing stories of sexual harassment and sexual assault. His comments were posted with a link to an article from a conservative website that argued women are not without blame in the ongoing debate about sexual misconduct in America.

"Aren't you also tired of all the pathetic 'me too' victim claims?" Leonie wrote. "If every woman is a 'victim', so is every man. If everyone is a victim, no one is. Victim means nothing anymore."

A Paxton spokesman said Leonie's resignation was effective immediately. It came a few hours after a Dallas Morning News story drawing attention to the post was published. 

"The views he expressed on social media do not reflect our values," said Marc Rylander, a spokesman for Paxton's office. "The [Office of the Attorney General] is committed to promoting and maintaining a workplace that is free from discrimination and harassment."

Leonie had served as associate deputy attorney general since February 2015, according to his LinkedIn profile. Before that, he held different positions in the attorney general’s office for over a decade.

The Texas Tribune Member Drive Fall 2020 banner

This public-service journalism is made possible by readers like you.

Donate now