Eddie Bernice Johnson

Eddie Bernice Johnson (Credit: Facebook)

DALLAS (AP) – U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson has placed her longtime chief of staff on administrative leave.

The Texas Democrat put Murat Gokcigdem on leave Monday after a Washington newspaper reported Gokcigdem had questioned the qualifications of a legislative staffer who applied for another job. The Washington Blade printed an email it said Gokcigdem had sent about the staffer, Chris Crowe. Gokcigdem allegedly said Crowe was unqualified for the new job.

Crowe, who died last year, was gay. The email doesn’t mention Crowe’s sexual orientation but suggests Crowe is benefiting from a “group watching and supporting each other.”

Spokesman Eddie Reeves says Johnson hasn’t confirmed if the email is real but wants to find out “what the facts really are.”

Gokcigdem did not return an email seeking comment.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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