The office of Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) has been described as being in disarray after a mass staff exodus, according to a recent report. The congresswoman reportedly turned over nearly her entire Washington, D.C. staff after being accused of fostering a “toxic” and “demoralizing” workplace environment.

Multiple former employees have complained specifically about Mace’s tendency to micromanage staff and desire for constant control. The report states that in the past month, Mace’s deputy chief of staff, legislative director, communications director, financial adviser, staff assistant, two legislative assistants, and military legislative assistant have all resigned.

Mass Resignations and Allegations of a “Toxic” Work Environment

According to reports, nearly all of Representative Nancy Mace’s staff resigned from their positions in December 2021 amid allegations that Mace’s congressional office fostered a “demoralizing” and “toxic” work environment.

Source: Win McNamee

Only one staffer remained, Dan Hanlon, who Mace subsequently terminated. In response, Hanlon has launched a primary challenge against Mace to represent South Carolina’s 1st congressional district.

Strict Demands and Lack of Trust in Staff

Former senior employees have described Mace as an overbearing micromanager who treated staff “not as people but as property.” Mace imposed strict rules, like requiring staff to respond within eight minutes if she contacted them, even outside of work hours.

Mace closely monitored staff and rarely allowed them autonomy or flexibility. For example, Mace denied staff requests to briefly leave work for Good Friday religious services when Congress was not in session.

New Chief of Staff and Intimidation Tactics

Mace’s new chief of staff, Lori Khatod, allegedly escalated the toxic atmosphere. Multiple staffers resigned after witnessing Khatod call the Capitol Police to try to have Hanlon arrested when he returned to the office to drop off keys days after his termination.

Source: Linkedin / Facebook

Staff said they felt unsafe in their workplace as a result of Khatod’s intimidation tactics using law enforcement. The mass exodus of Mace’s staff and the troubling circumstances surrounding their departures have garnered Mace a reputation as an ineffective and “delusional” leader on Capitol Hill.

Micromanagement and Lack of Trust

Multiple ex-staffers have complained about Mace’s propensity to demand constant work and availability from employees.

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Even during times when the House was not in session, Mace would reportedly not allow staff any time off. According to two unnamed former senior employees, Mace refused requests from some staff to take an hour of leave on Good Friday to attend religious services.

Internal Chaos and “Abusive” Leadership

According to accounts from former employees, Mace required immediate responses to her demands, enforced by an “eight-minute rule.” However, Mace would then take sole credit for the work of her staff. “She says nothing publicly without her consultants or senior staffers telling her to but takes credit for everything.

Source: TalentLMS

She’s a walking teleprompter,” an anonymous ex-staffer said. Mace’s new chief of staff, Lori Khatod’s attempts to dismiss the resignations as a “non-issue” appear to have done little to quell the impression of disorder in the congresswoman’s office.

Excessive Work Hours

Mace allegedly expects her staff to be available at nearly all hours to respond to her requests. Two unnamed former senior staffers reported that even on Good Friday, when some wanted to briefly leave work to attend religious services, Mace refused to allow it despite Congress being adjourned at the time.

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“For Mace, it was all about control,” one of the sources said. “She didn’t see the staff as people but as property.” The source added that Mace says “nothing publicly without her consultants or senior staffers telling her to, but takes credit for everything. She’s a walking teleprompter.”

The Final Straw – Firing of Chief of Staff

According to former staffers, the termination of Mace’s chief of staff, Dan Hanlon, proved to be the final straw that led to the mass exodus from her office.

Source: Facebook

Hanlon had been with Mace’s office since she took office in 2020 but was abruptly fired on December 1st, 2021, with Mace providing no concrete reason for his dismissal. In response, eight employees handed in their letters of resignation in protest, unwilling to continue working under Mace’s leadership.

Questions of Competence

Anonymous sources within Mace’s office characterized her leadership style as “delusional.” They claim Mace rarely made public statements without heavy guidance from consultants and senior staff but took full credit for the work.

Source: Tom Williams

The high turnover and turmoil within Mace’s office have led some to question her competence and judgment as an elected official. This situation shows the importance of strong communication, respect, and empathy between representatives and their staff to best serve constituents. Mace’s actions going forward will demonstrate if she can learn from this experience.

Scathing Accusations From Former Staff

The mass resignation of nearly all of Mace’s own communications team prior to Lipsky’s hiring underscores the questionable wisdom of selecting a staffer from Santos’ office to fill the role. Mace’s former communications director and other staffers accused her of creating a “demoralizing environment” and treating staff like “property” rather than people.

Source: LinkedIn

The dysfunction and mistreatment that drove away Mace’s own experienced communications professionals call into question her judgment in hiring a staffer from an office with its record of disrepute. The exodus of so many key staff members in protest reflects deep dysfunction that will likely not be easily or quickly resolved.

Mace Team Tries to Downplay the Exodus

Mace’s difficulties in maintaining staff have not gone unnoticed by others on Capitol Hill. One ex-staffer reported that “pretty much every staffer and fellow member on the Hill thinks she’s a joke.” The congresswoman’s reputation and credibility appear to have taken a hit due to her management issues.

Source: Linkedin

The turmoil in Rep. Mace’s office points to broader issues of poor leadership and a toxic work culture that impacted staff morale and led to high turnover. While Mace’s team scrambles to downplay and contain the fallout from losing nearly her entire staff, the effects of this controversy may linger as she seeks to hire and retain new employees.