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Posted September 13, 2017, 10:49 am CDT
A lawyer has resigned from his partnership at a central Texas personal injury law firm after tweeting that he’d be “OK” if Education Secretary Betsy DeVos were sexually assaulted.
Rob Ranco resigned from the Carlson Law Firm in Killeen, Managing Partner Craig Carlson announced on Monday. Ranco’s resignation came days after a tweet last Friday that read: “I’m not wishing for it … but I’d be ok if #BetsyDevos was sexually assaulted. #SexualAssault #TitleIX.”
Ranco posted the tweet one day after DeVos announced that Obama administration guidance on campus sexual assault will eventually be replaced. Texas Lawyer, the Austin American Statesman, the Temple Daily Telegram, the Washington Times and KVUE have stories.
“Perhaps Betsy doesn’t understand how horrible rape is,” Ranco said in another tweet. “She’s made the world more dangerous for my daughters. I need her to understand.”
Ranco later cut off access to his Twitter account and said in a statement that he apologizes for the mistake. “I hope that Secretary DeVos and anyone else who was offended, impacted, shocked by my actions that they can find it in their hearts to forgive me,” he said.
Ranco had handled an excessive force case against police involving a shooting after a traffic stop, according to an earlier story by the Temple Daily Telegram. An Austin American Statesman story published in June identifies Ranco as a civil rights lawyer whose daughter was the victim of racial harassment at school.
Carlson said in a statement that he spoke with Ranco about the controversy and they agreed Ranco should resign.
“With over 150 employees—75 percent of whom are women—anyone in our company advocating or even expressing apathy towards sexual assault is an affront to all victims and a line that simply cannot be uncrossed,” he said. “This has been an enormous distraction that has taken us away from the mission of our firm, which is to care for and help people. Understanding and accepting this, Rob is taking full responsibility and choosing to resign.”
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