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Democrats Call For Durham Expulsion To Halt Pension

Posted at 12:32 PM, Jul 20, 2016

A Tennessee lawmaker has called for a special session to expel Rep. Jeremy Durham following last week’s report accusing him of sexual harassment. 

In a press conference held Wednesday morning, Rep. Mike Stewart (D-Nashville) asked Speaker Beth Harwell to call a special session for expulsion hearings for Durham.

Last week, a  48-page report detailed numerous inappropriate interactions Durham had with at least 22 women in the Legislature or as a result of his position in the Legislature. 

More: Report Details Inappropriate Interactions With Women

In addition, two women reported that Durham offered them dirty mints from his pocket in a suggestive manner, giving him the nickname "Pants Candy.”

Following the report's release, Durham called the vast majority of the allegations “false,” but went on to say some of them were accurate.  

He subsequently suspended his campaign for re-election.

However, Stewart said that was not enough and asked Harwell to call the session to prevent the alleged victims from “being victimized again by supporting his retirement.”

“If Durham remains in office until November, then he will be able to collect a monthly pension of more than $300 a month, that’s more than many Tennesseans pay in rent for a month,” Stewart said.

Meanwhile, Tennessee Democratic Party Chair Mary Mancini said Harwell should have acted sooner and more decisively to protect women at the Capitol.

Speaker Harwell released the following statement not long after Durham addressed the accusations: 

"Representative Durham's denials are insulting to the brave women whose testimony was detailed in the report. Representative Durham needs to make absolutely clear he is not seeking re-election."