dawn adams

A lawsuit brought by a former legislative aide to Del. Dawn Adams against the delegate alleges that Adams required her, a state employee, to work for her personal business without separate pay.

Maureen Hains, who served as Adams’ campaign manager in 2017 before joining her legislative staff, alleges in a lawsuit that Adams required her to help her medical coding business, and then hacked into her email and other private accounts to cover it up.

According to the legal complaint filed against her by her former aide Maureen Hains, from July through December 2018, Delegate Adams worked for a firm doing medical coding.

“Toward the end of 2018, Hains was working full tie as Adam’s Legislative Assistant, performing a substantial amount of ICD-10 medical coding for Adams for no pay, and serving, also for no pay, as the de facto manager and communications director for Adams’ reelection campaign until a campaign manager could be hired,” the complaint states (emphasis added).

The suit alleges that Adams hacked into Hains’ personal email accounts to delete evidence that she had required Hains — a state employee — to do work for Adam’s personal business.

Hains has sued for $550,000 in damages, but improperly accessing a computer system is a Federal felony.

This isn’t the first time Adams has found herself in the middle of a potential legal and ethical quagmire.

Adams said during her campaign that were she to be elected, she would quit her state job so as to avoid violation of the Hatch Act.

Best known for its provisions blocking partisan campaign activity for those on the Federal government’s payroll, the Hatch Act also prohibits partisan activity by state and local government employees whose positions are funded by federal dollars.

During her campaign in 2017, Adams promised to quit her job as Director of the Commonwealth’s Office of Integrated Health should she be elected. It wasn’t long after her win that she announced she would be staying in her post.

Citing a 2001 Attorney General’s opinion, Adams maintained that it was not a violation of the Virginia Constitution for a state employee to be in the General Assembly. Her reasoning did nothing to address Hatch Act concerns, though.

Adams continued to draw a six-figure state salary all while administering millions of dollars in Federal grant money. Adams only left her post in August 2018 after founding her own consulting firm.

Adams is opposed in November by Republican Garrison Coward.