Legislative leaders to be deposed in mask-related lawsuit

Posted at 1:41 PM, Jan 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-03 14:41:32-05

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Senate President Dave Schatz and former House Speaker Elijah Haahr are expected to be deposed later this month in a lawsuit alleging that a former House employee was fired for raising concerns about a lack of COVID-19 safety measures.

Tad Mayfield asked Schatz and Haahr in 2020 to impose a mask mandate for the entire Missouri Capitol, rather than just the administrative staff of the House, according to the lawsuit. He was later fired for alleged poor performance.

The depositions come as the Legislature is scheduled to open its 2022 session on Wednesday with few COVID-19 mitigation measures in place.

House Clerk Dana Rademan Miller, Assistant Clerk Emily White, House legal counsel Bryan Scheiderer and Kenny Ross, chief of staff to current House Speaker Rob Vescovo, R-Arnold, are also expected to be deposed, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

According to federal court records, both sides intend to conduct depositions during the second and third week of January.

As lawmakers gather for the session, neither the House or Senate will require masks, no onsite screening or testing will be provided and no one in the building will be required to be vaccinated.