Political News

The Latest: Activist resigns after Rep.'s letter to employer

Posted May 15

— The Latest on a New Jersey woman who says she quit her job after a congressman wrote a letter to her employer that referred to an opposition group to which she belonged (all times local):

3:45 p.m.

Republican U.S. Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen is downplaying a fundraising letter he sent to a board member of a bank referencing a group that has been opposing him.

A woman who belongs to "NJ 11th For Change" worked as an attorney for the bank but says she resigned after Frelinghuysen's handwritten note at the bottom of the letter said the group's "ringleader" worked at the bank.

Saily Avelenda says Lakeland Bank didn't ask her to resign, but she said she felt uncomfortable being confronted about her activities outside the office.

Frelinghuysen's office told WNYC-FM he "wrote a brief and innocuous note" and "was in no way involved in any of the bank's business" concerning Avelenda.

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1:45 p.m.

A New Jersey woman who joined a group urging a Republican congressman to diverge from President Donald Trump's policies says she quit her job after the congressman referred to her in a fundraising letter to her employer.

Saily (SAY'-lee) Avelenda says a handwritten note on the letter to a board member of Lakeland Bank from Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen said a "ringleader" of the protest movement worked there.

Avelenda says she wasn't asked to resign but that the incident led to her resignation.

WNYC-FM in New York first reported the letter Monday.

Avelenda is part of "NJ 11th For Change." The group has criticized Frelinghuysen for not holding in-person town hall meetings in recent months.

The bank tweeted Monday its employees are allowed to engage in political activities as they choose.

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