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Rick Larsen Staffers Fired For Drinking On The Job

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RICK LARSEN STAFFERS DRINKING TWITTER
House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, left, participates in a ceremonial House swearing-in ceremony for Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Wash., on Capitol Hill in Washington Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2011.(AP Photo/Alex Brandon) | AP

SEATTLE -- U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen fired three staffers who apparently chronicled their on-the-job drinking exploits, including taking shots of Jack Daniels at their desks, via Twitter.

Larsen, a Democrat, dismissed the trio Thursday, about an hour after learning of their Twitter activity, said Larsen's spokesman, Bryan Thomas.

"Neither congressman Larsen nor his other staff were aware of the actions by these three staff members before today," Thomas said. "Congressman Larsen is disappointed by their actions and takes this very seriously. He has made it clear that he will not tolerate this kind of behavior."

The Northwest Daily Marker, a conservative political blog in Washington state, first posted the tweets.

The three staffers who were fired – legislative assistants Seth Burroughs and Elizabeth Robblee and legislative correspondent Ben Byers – worked in Larsen's Washington, D.C., office.

Their Twitter accounts had been deleted by Thursday, and other efforts to reach them for comment were unsuccessful.

But the Daily Marker caught screen grabs of the tweets.

In one tweet Dec. 1, Burroughs – whose Twitter handle was "TheRocketShip1" – describes a co-worker taking a shot "crouching" behind his desk.

"We have unabashedly given up on just about all things work related," he tweeted.

In another tweet, Burroughs calls Larsen his "idiot boss."

While the staffers' drinking got them fired, the nascent blog, the Northwest Daily Marker, saw its Internet traffic soar, thanks to links from sites such as the Drudge Report. The post had 52,000 visits by Thursday afternoon.

"You have a congressman that wasn't really paying attention to his own office. I think to me that's the nut of the story," said Bryan Myrick, who founded the blog in May.

Myrick said they were tipped to the staffers' activities.

In her personal blog, Robblee in late November described being disillusioned with life in the nation's capital, giving notice and planning to travel abroad.

"The late nights, frustrating politics and often thankless work started to take their toll," Robblee wrote. "I was burnt out. And more and more I found myself spending spare moments at work reading food blogs, daydreaming about baking, and making grocery lists."

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