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California

Katie Hill’s office receives white powder in envelope, but it tests negative for harmful toxins

LANCASTER, CALIF. -- MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2018: Congressional candidate Katie Hill answers question
Katie Hill.
(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

Following Democratic Rep. Katie Hill’s resignation over allegations of a sexual relationship with a staffer and a campaign aide, the freshman lawmaker’s Palmdale office received a suspicious envelope Monday containing a white powder that was determined to be harmless.

A Los Angeles County Fire Department hazardous materials team and sheriff’s deputies responded to the office in the 1000 block of West Avenue M-14 in Palmdale just after noon. A department spokesman, Tony Atkins, said firefighters were alerted to an envelope containing an unidentified powder, and that two people complained of irritation. He said an initial test was negative for potentially harmful substances and a second, more time-consuming exam done with chemical weapons testing equipment also yielded a negative.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is conducting a criminal investigation into the incident, which seemed designed to scare those working in the office. The material, very small in amount, was most likely meant to make people believe it was anthrax.

Last week, the congresswoman for the state’s 25th District resigned after a messy divorce filing by her husband, leaked naked photos and texts, an admission of a relationship with a female campaign staffer, and an investigation by the House Ethics Committee into whether she had a relationship with one of her congressional aides.

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“It is with a broken heart today that I announce my resignation from Congress. This is the hardest thing I have ever had to do, but I believe it is the best thing for my constituents, my community, and our country,” she said.

Hill said she was a victim of revenge porn and an abusive spouse.

Conservative websites published the photos of Hill. One of the authors was a former campaign advisor to Steve Knight, who Hill ousted from Congress in 2018.


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