Former Staffers Bash 'Narcissistic, Egotistical Sociopath' Josh Gottheimer (D)

May 22, 2019

New Jersey Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D., N.J.) doesn't want his staff sleeping when he sends them emails, even if it's the middle of the night. 

Interviews of former staffers and associates "painted a portrait of a man who pits staffers against each other, screams easily, throws pens with regularity, and berates aides if they are asleep when he sends an email, no matter the time of night," reported The Intercept’s Ryan Grim.

"Josh Gottheimer is the biggest [jerk] I have ever worked for, ever," said one former lawyer who worked alongside Gottheimer at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Gottheimer served as the senior counsel to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski from 2010 to 2012.

"Never experienced anything like it. Narcissistic, egotistical sociopath," a former congressional staffer of Gottheimer said when asked about working for him.

Grim said he spoke with more than half a dozen former staffers or associates of Gottheimer who described him as an easily angered, highly combative boss.  

Former Gottheimer staffers recount an office culture of "shouting," "emotional manipulation," and "the chucking of office supplies."

Gottheimer’s office has one of the highest staff turnover rates in 2018 according to an analysis from Legistorm, which ranks staff turnover rates for each congressional office. At that point, Gottheimer was still in his first term and notably was the only freshman representative elected in 2016 who broke the top ten list for staff turnover.

In response to questions about these former staffers' comments, Gottheimer’s chief of staff said the congressman "instills in his team a deep responsibility to work hard and deliver results for the people of the Fifth District, regardless of party."

Former aides also mentioned the similarity between press accounts of how Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.) treated her congressional staff and the office environment they experienced working for Gottheimer.

"When I was reading those Klobuchar stories, I was like, maybe Gottheimer isn’t unique," one campaign aide told Grim.

Michael McAdams, a spokesman for the National Republican Campaign Committee, told the Washington Free Beacon "Josh Gottheimer is clearly unwell and in need of professional help."

First elected to New Jersey’s 5th Congressional District in 2016, Gottheimer previously worked as a speechwriter and campaign adviser for Bill Clinton and as an adviser to the presidential campaigns of Wesley Clark and John Kerry.