Finding The McAllister Smoochgate Leaker

fun in funroe smThe evidence against Rep. Vance McAllister’s District Office Manager Leah Gordon is growing as the local architect of the office building where the smooch-fest with his district scheduler, Mellissa Peacock, took place says Gordon had previously asked for the security codes into the surveillance room in December of last year, when the footage was taken.

All of this is transpiring while Gordon, according to McAllister’s Chief of Staff Adam Terry, is still fully employed by McAllister as his district manager.

As first noted, there were always three possible leakers in the McAllister sex scandal.

Possibility #1:  Someone working for the security company (Lance Hilton) operating the cameras at McAllister’s congressional office in Monroe. But is the security company watching those camera feeds all day? And if not, how is a security guard going to know to look for archived tape from Dec. 23 at 1:39 p.m. to find something worth recording?

Possibility #2: The landlord (Bill Land) of the congressional office. Again, the same question comes into play. How would a landlord know where to look for this type of footage unless they were all-out stalking McAllister? And from what we’re told, though this could be wrong, McAllister’s offices are in the same Monroe building that his predecessor Rodney Alexander made his offices – if you’re the landlord, why would you leak damaging footage that might cost you a tenant?

Possibility #3: One of McAllister’s own congressional staffers (Leah Gordon.) This seems to be the most likely of the three possibilities, as it would make sense that a staffer would know exactly where to go to find evidence that McAllister was in a relationship with Peacock – and one might also deduce that it would have been a senior staffer to be able to access the archived footage.

With more coming out about the scandal, however, the more Land and Hilton are being ruled out as possible leakers of the surveillance footage.

Land said after Gabriel Gifford was shot, Washington pushed to have more security in district offices.

He said they installed an alarm system, but after the building was broken into, they added the video surveillance system.

Land said McAllister’s office manager, Leah Gordon, began asking for the code around December of last year, when the video taken.

He said he has access to the room, but doesn’t know the code to get the video.

“The office manager would come over periodically and ask for the code, or access to the room, where the DVR was stored and then we would provide it to her. So they have access to the office. And we inquired on one occasion why they need to go look at the DVR, and they said they suspected theft,” Land said.

Hilton helped install the system. And he said he and Gordon are the only two who know the code.

“It’s kind of offending that they would imply I had anything to do with it. I had nothing at all to do with it. In fact, when we found out about this, we anted up quickly saying we would take a lie detector, a polygraph, whatever we could do to get to the bottom of it. We had no part of it,” Hilton said.

Hilton told the Associated Press that he has actually never accessed archived surveillance footage, while Gordon on the other hand has been accessing archived footage since her days back  working for former Congressman Rodney Alexander’s office.

But Land and Hilton said Leah Gordon, McAllister’s district office director, had in fact reviewed videotape on multiple occasions, beginning when she worked in the same post for McAllister’s predecessor, Rodney Alexander.

These allegations of Gordon being the smoochgate leaker come after West Monroe Pastor Danny Chance claimed Gordon brought the video to Washington insiders as a way to bring down McAllister.

Chance, pastor of Christian Life Church, also said Monroe District Office manager Leah Gordon said she was taking the video to state Sen. Mike Walsworth, R-West Monroe, and Jonathan Johnson, who worked for former U.S. Rep. Rodney Alexander, R-Ruston.

Also, McAllister had originally told media outlets that he would be seeking the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s help in finding out who actually leaked the footage of his make-out session, with Terry calling the leak a “serious breach.”

Then, suddenly, McAllister’s team released a statement saying “Congressman McAllister’s office will not pursue an FBI investigation at this time regarding the distribution of a video filmed in leased federal office space. Congressman McAllister is focused on earning back the trust of those he has disappointed, and he reiterates his request for privacy for his family during this difficult period.”

New Orleans media lawyer and legal analyst Scott Sternberg said that McAllister or Peacock might claim that they had their privacy violated by the release of the video.

“Generally, invasion of privacy involves highly offensive publication of a private fact, that you have tried to keep private, or intrusion upon seclusion with electronic means such as a surveillance camera,” said Sternberg.

Sternberg said that it would have to be investigated as far as who actually owns the office and camera and whether or not McAllister and Peacock had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the office. But, Sternberg said there is one exception.

“However, there is generally an exception for newsworthy events,” said Sternberg. “I would argue that a congressman allegedly cheating on his wife with a staffer is undoubtedly a newsworthy event.”

Again, these questions have yet to be answered.

  • Why would the surveillance footage be sent to The Ouachita Citizen?
  • Why did the The Ouachita Citizen release the footage now?
  • Why did McAllister keep Peacock on his payroll until now after he allegedly told his wife of his infidelity back in late January?
  • Is this McAllister’s first infidelity as he claims?
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