When Brian Newby took the helm of a federal election agency, he left behind an unfolding scandal in Kansas in which he was having an affair with a woman he promoted in his previous job and used her to skirt oversight of their expenses, prompting a local prosecutor to investigate, according to e-mails obtained by the Associated Press.
The affair and resulting fallout were revealed in hundreds of e-mails ordered released after the AP sued Johnson County, where Newby was the top election official before leaving to become executive director of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.
The e-mails – coupled with hundreds more obtained from the Kansas secretary of state’s office through a separate open records request – portray an election official who berated employees and deliberately bypassed supervision. They also document a toxic workplace created by his affair with then-Assistant Election Commissioner Jessica White, an apparent violation of county policy on intimate relationships with subordinates….
Newby’s penchant for ignoring supervision continued when he took the top federal job in November 2015 at an agency whose mission is to make voting easier. He angered voting-rights advocates when, without public notice or approval from agency commissioners, he tightened voting registration rules in three states.