|MPP Executive Director Rob Kampia is embroiled in a sex scandal which has already resulted in the departures of seven employees.|
Seven of the Marijuana Policy Project’s 38 employees have left the organization recently because of what several described as “inappropriate behavior” by Executive Director Rob Kampia after an office happy hour last August.
Salem Pearce, the former director of membership at MPP, and three other employees told the press that Kampia left Union Pub that evening with his former assistant, who still worked for MPP but had moved to another department.
What happened next remains in dispute, with Kampia and the young lady involved giving different accounts. But Kampia did acknowledge an an email to staff that it was something involving him which he regretted, and that it caused staff defections, report Nikki Schwab and Tara Palmeri at the Washington Examiner.
Even more disturbingly, an anonymous former MPP employee has told Toke of the Town that Kampia’s behavior was part of a years-long pattern.
“Rob has a very long history, known to anyone at MPP who’s been there more than a few months, of hitting on and sexually harassing pretty young women, including employees,” our source told us.
“Even if this particular incident was 100 percent consensual, his behavior should have gotten him fired years ago — or at the very least, put on probation and fired if it continued,” the ex-MPP staffer told Toke of the Town Thursday night.
Department heads at MPP unanimously asked for Kampia’s resignation, but their calls were ignored by Kampia, fortified with word from Chairman Peter Lewis. Lewis threatened to no longer fund the organization if Kampia weren’t at the helm, according to Pearce and another employee at her level, the Examiner reports.
“It was so egregious that I, and a number of other employees, that even in the most generous telling of the story, made it impossible to work for Rob,” an anonymous ex-MPP employee said.
“I’m very sorry — both personally and professionally — that they’re leaving MPP,” Kampia said in an internal email obtained by the Examiner. “Their decisions are due to something that happened outside the office a few days ago involving me.”
“What this story only hints at was that the original incident was followed by a systematic attempt to evade responsibility,” our anonymous source told Toke of the Town. “In addition to hiding behind Peter Lewis’s skirts, there was a concerted effort to keep critical information from the board, and no means was ever provided for staff members to communicate directly with the board as it considered what to do.”
According to the ex-MPP employee, much about the situation remains unresolved. “Frankly, I’ve seen no evidence that the board made a serious effort to try to get the whole truth,” the ex-MPP staffer told us.
“The full story is very long and involved, but it’s ugly,” our source told us Thursday night. “It gets creepier when you hear the full story.”