Leaders Of Milwaukee 2020 DNC Host Committee Fired Over Allegations Of Toxic Work Environment

Shakeup Comes Months Before Democratic Convention

Carrie Antlfinger/AP Photo

The two leaders of Milwaukee’s host committee for the 2020 Democratic National Convention have been fired amid allegations that they oversaw a toxic work environment.

The committee’s board of directors released a statement Tuesday night saying:

“Every employee has a right to feel respected in their workplace. Based on the information we have learned to date, we believe the work environment did not meet the ideals and expectations of the Milwaukee 2020 Host Committee Board of Directors. Accordingly, Liz Gilbert and Adam Alonso are no longer employed by the organization, effective immediately.”

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According to the statement, members of the board, which is a civic-minded oversight board, were first made aware of the allegations Saturday through a letter dated Jan. 30 from concerned staffers. The board claims they starting looking into the concerns immediately Saturday. The board sought out legal counsel this week to evaluate and investigate the allegations and report their findings.

The dramatic shakeup Tuesday evening comes less than six months before the Democrats gather in swing state Wisconsin to choose their presidential nominee in July.

The firings came a day after Gilbert and Alonso were placed on leave pending the investigation.

According to a written statement from the board, the investigation is ongoing to ensure an inclusive and supportive work environment.

Teresa Vilmain, an organizer, political consultant, and adviser with the committee, will be managing the operations of the committee through the transition of finding new leadership.

“For this success to continue, the Host Committee’s office culture must reflect the Host Committee’s values,” the board said in a statement. “The Board will continue to take appropriate actions to ensure that this commitment is met and maintained moving forward.”

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include original reporting by WPR.