Watch CBS News

Jennifer Carnahan sues state GOP for allegedly violating separation agreement

Jennifer Carnahan sues Minnesota GOP
Jennifer Carnahan sues Minnesota GOP 00:33

MINNEAPOLIS -- Former Minnesota Republican Party chairperson Jennifer Carnahan is suing the state's GOP, alleging that members violated terms of a separation agreement.

Carnahan resigned in August of 2021 amid claims of her close ties to Anton Lazzaro, a donor who was accused of sex trafficking minors, and allegations about a toxic work environment. Party officers approved $38,000 of severance pay for her, and she stepped down from a post she had held since 2017. 

The lawsuit, filed on Thursday, says she entered into a separation agreement on Aug. 19, 2021, which prevented Minnesota GOP employees and board members from disparaging her "in any respect."

However, over the course of the next few months, members of the Minnesota GOP made comments about Carnahan leaving the party offices in "shambles" and in "financial disarray," the lawsuit says.

As a result, Carnahan says she hasn't been able to get a job because of the remarks they made. In addition to lost work opportunities, she claims she suffered emotional distress and other damages exceeding $50,000.

WCCO-TV has reached out to the Minnesota GOP for comment.

Carnahan was married to Rep. Jim Hagedorn, who died in February of 2022 after a battle with kidney cancer. Carnahan ran unsuccessfully for his open seat.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.