Investigators with the Department of Public Safety (DPS) have released their report finding an allegation of date rape that led to a lobbyist’s reputation being ruined was false – and that the staffer who lied to law enforcement and made up the story did so to cover up her sexual affair with another legislative staffer.
According to the police report, Jennifer Reeves, who is a committee staffer for State Representative Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) made up the story accusing a long-time Austin lobbyist of having slipped her a date rape type of drug.
The report says Reeves made up the story to keep her boyfriend from finding out she was having a sexual affair with another legislative staffer, Jarred Shaffer.
When the allegations first surfaced, the news went off like a bombshell in the Texas Capitol.
Lobbyists were banned from lawmakers’ offices, a new law was quickly passed, and the wrongfully accused man’s reputation was ruined in the rumor mill and news stories.
An interview of the wrongfully accused lobbyist by the Houston Chronicle reported that the allegations drove him toward suicide, saying he “thought about killing himself.”
Investigators wrote that on the day Reeves went to the Austin Club with a co-worker, the two had both gone to get the Moderna COVID-19 vaccination earlier in the day.
Reeves and her co-worker experienced severe reactions to the combination of alcohol and vaccine, the report says.
The morning after Reeves spent the night with Shaffer, Reeves reached out to her co-worker for help in concocting a cover story to tell her boyfriend to explain her whereabouts that night
The report goes on to conclude that Reeves did induce her co-worker into believing there was a possibility that they were both drugged.
The co-worker later told investigators during an interview that the lobbyist who was being accused had a bad reputation, was disliked by Representative Landgraf, who had banned him from the office, and that this combined with her hangover symptoms led her to a legitimate concern that they may have been drugged by him.
Because of this, investigators concluded that Reeves was responsible for not only deceiving her co-worker but also attempting to deceive DPS officers during the ensuing investigation.
Regardless of Reeves deceptive actions, it is being reported that the Travis County District Attorney’s office has indicated that they do not intend to prosecute Reeves.
Public records indicate that Reeves worked in Landgraf’s office as a clerk for the environmental committee that Landgraf chairs.
Odessa Headlines reached out to Representative Landgraf asking for comment and asking whether the staffer(s) identified in the DPS report still works in his office.
Landgraf hasn’t responded to our request for comment but is quoted telling the Odessa American late Wednesday that Reeves has resigned her staff position with the announcement of the DPS report.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to redact the name of Reeves’ co-worker. While the DPS report places the co-worker as a key figure in the story, the co-worker’s actions of cooperating with law enforcement and working to right the situation afterwards speaks to honest intentions – and in balancing the public’s need to know we have decided it is in the best interest to redact the name.