White Powder Delivered at Former Rep. Katie Hill’s Palmdale Office Prompts Hazmat Response
A hazardous materials team responded after an envelope containing white powder was delivered Monday at the Palmdale office of former Rep. Katie Hill, who stepped down from the House last week, officials said.
Sheriff’s deputies requested medical assistance at government offices at 1008 West Avenue M14 shortly after noon, according to Inspector Anthony Akins with the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
The address houses one of Hill’s three Southern California outposts.
Akins said the unidentified white powdery substance was being analyzed by hazmat crews, Akins said.
The Los Angeles Times reported it was later determined to be harmless, but sheriff’s officials launched a criminal investigation into what they believed to be an anthrax hoax meant to frighten Hill’s employees.
Two people came into contact with the material. Akins said they were sequestered for decontamination and would subsequently be transported for medical evaluation.
“They’re not exhibiting any kind of significant medical symptoms,” the inspector said. “With that in mind, what we want to do is try to identify the substance, then we’ll determine what the best course of action with respect to decontamination will be.”
Authorities found two other envelopes left in a nearby bus stop. It was unknown whether they contained anything suspicious, but they were being isolated and evaluated out of an abundance of caution, Akins said.
Hill cast her final vote in Congress last Friday after announcing her resignation amid an ethics committee probe into an alleged affair with a congressional staffer, which she denied. The accusation followed nude photos of the lawmaker being published on a conservative website that Hill claimed were planted by her “abusive husband,” who she is divorcing.
“I am leaving now because of a double standard,” Hill said in her farewell address Friday after voting in favor of Trump’s impeachment inquiry. “I’m leaving, but we have men who have been credibly accused of intentional acts of sexual violence and remain in boardrooms, on the Supreme Court, in this very body and, worst of all, in the Oval Office.”