By Tami DeVine
LOS ANGELES — Rev. Kisheen Wayne “K.W.” Tulloss is no longer president of the Los Angeles chapter of Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, according to NAN General Counsel Michael Hardy.
This follows accusations of sexual harassment by a former office manager who requested to remain unidentified and wanted to be referred to as “Jane Doe.”
Tulloss also served as a field representative for U.S. Rep. Nanette Barragan, D-San Pedro. Barragan’s Legislative Director Mike Lucier sent a short statement following a request for comment with 12 questions regarding Tulloss’ employment with the congresswoman’s office.
“Mr. Tulloss was employed by our office from January 2017 to August 2018. Other than confirming dates of employment, our office policy is not to comment on personnel matters,” Lucier wrote.
Doe said Tulloss subjected her to a constant barrage of unwelcome and unsolicited advances while he was head of NAN Los Angeles, including asking her to consider dating married men, showing her pictures of naked women, and offering her oral sex.
Tulloss would not say if he had resigned from NAN during a follow-up phone call after Crown City Network broke the story last week. He did say he wanted to clarify that he is not a PTA president as was attributed to him in the previous report.
He also said he had been advised by his attorneys not to speak about the matter “with no one.” He mentioned that he was currently facing problems saying, “Some of the problems I’m having is based on [this writer’s] YouTube video where you mentioned the activism.”
Tulloss added: “I have the utmost respect for everyone, but the reality is I have enemies that have vendettas. In December, I had a stroke that almost took me away from my wife and my kids and my church,” he said. “At the end of the day, I’m fighting for my life.”
Tulloss promised to provide an exclusive report and share more details about the situation when he decides to go public.
Doe said Tulloss took her to lunch for her birthday two months after she started working for him in summer 2016 and, after some general conversation, he asked her randomly if she would date a married man and she told him she would not cross those boundaries.
The situation worsened after that, according to Doe, who said Tulloss began telling her about women he had slept with, showing nude photos of women who were part of and some who were outside of National Action Network. Doe said he also tried to massage her feet, but she refused to let him.
Doe said that during a trip to protest President Donald Trump’s inauguration, she and Tulloss stayed in the same hotel room. “I couldn’t afford the trip, I couldn’t even afford to split the room with anyone else,” she said. “He made it mandatory to be there.”
She said that one morning as she was going to use the bathroom he offered to perform oral sex on her.
“I told him ‘I will pack my things and I will move to another room and I will explain to everybody why,’” Doe said.
Doe said Tulloss eventually apologized that same morning, but following the trip, she no longer wanted to work with him. She quit less than a year after she started at NAN Los Angeles.
Doe said she is telling her story now because she doesn’t want others to go through her experiences and because she would like to see Tulloss out of a job at NAN.
“People need to know who this individual is,” Doe said. “If you’re going to be a pastor, be a faithful pastor, really serve your community. Tulloss needs to be fired. Tulloss needs to apologize to me personally. Ultimately, he shouldn’t be in the position he’s in. Being a civil rights activist, a pastor, all that’s based on morality. If you don’t have morality, you shouldn’t be serving the community, period.”
During a phone conversation, NAN’s founder and president Rev. Al Sharpton said statements for matters like this are handled by the general counsel [Michael Hardy]. Sharpton mentioned that he was in California and that he had been talking with chapter members in Los Angeles. He said when the board meets at the end of September he’s “almost sure” the matter will be on the agenda.
Sharpton acknowledged that other sexual harrassment incidents have taken place involving NAN Los Angeles.
“We’ve had other complaints in L.A. and with one member and we handled it through the board and the general counsel,” he said.
Doe says she knows of two other women in NAN she claims were sexually harrassed by Tulloss. Sharpton would not answer whether this type of behavior is a problem throughout the organization, but in an April 2018 letter to Sharpton, Doe wrote she found it ironic that NAN has shown support for victims of the “#metoo movement.”
“We take all these matters seriously and conduct due diligence, which is why we make everybody employed with NAN sign very specific statements so they know what to do,” Sharpton said. While he acknowledged knowing Tulloss, Sharpton said he did not know Jane Doe, who had written him a letter in April 2018 alleging the sexual harassment, and said he had not read her letter.
“I don’t even know who the person is,” Sharpton said. “Why would I focus on someone I don’t know? I’m assuming the general counsel spoke to the person involved. I didn’t. We have 106 chapters. I guarantee you I wouldn’t know who the letter was from,” Sharpton said.
Hardy said Tulloss resigned as president of the Los Angeles chapter of NAN Sept. 14, about two weeks after he gave the board a report following a “complete and thorough” investigation.
“My job was to submit that report to the board,” Hardy said. “I believe he is also resigning as a chapter member, but he’s no longer the chapter president.”
When asked what the report included, Hardy claimed it was privileged. Hardy said that NAN has a national field director named Rev. Devis Toon who may be stepping in to handle Tulloss’ former responsibilities for now.
E-mails to Rep. Nanette Barragan’s office were not answered in time for this report.