Democrats Demand Resignation of Lawmaker In Durham Report

Posted at 2:46 PM, Oct 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-06 19:51:41-04

State Democrats have called on a fellow lawmaker to resign for her alleged role in the Jeremy Durham scandal.

At a press conference on Thursday morning, Rep. Mike Stewart said Rep. Mary Littleton should step down from her position if she knew a staff member was fired for reporting that she had been sexually harassed by former Franklin Republican, Jeremy Durham.

The demand came after a local news outlet made claims that Rep. Littleton on Wednesday is Jane Doe #33 from the Attorney General's report into Jeremy Durham's sexual misconduct at the state Capitol.

NewsChannel 5 has not been able to verify or confirm those claims and Rep. Littleton was not available Thursday for comment because she is traveling out of the country.

"That in fact she is Jane Doe 33 and did see a staffer was fired for being the victim of harassment and if that’s the case she needs to step down today. Alternatively, she needs to come forward and say she isn’t Jane Doe 33," Rep. Stewart, a Democrat from Nashville said.

"She needs to answer to the people of Tennessee, today. She (Rep. Littleton) needs to either confirm or deny she is Jane Doe #33," Stewart added.

Last month, lawmakers voted to oust  Jeremy Durham  from his position over allegations that he sexually harassed a number of women at the state Capitol. Including allegations that he had sex with an intern in his office. Claims that Durham has denied repeatedly.

Democrats also blasted Speaker Beth Harwell for not doing more to protect female staffer at the State House.

"We need to move beyond Speaker Harwell because she’s obviously unwilling to protect women in the legislature," Stewart said.

"The bottom line is there is a member of the Tennessee General Assembly that fired someone for being sexually harassed," Democrat Bo Mitchell added.

State Democrats also want the TBI to get involved in the investigation surrounding Durham's alleged sexual misconduct.

"We need the Attorney General to call on the TBI to begin an investigation" Stewart said. 

Later Wednesday afternoon, Speaker Harwell released the following statement:

"With regards to our personnel processes, Connie Ridley has been the director of human resources for the Tennessee General Assembly since 1995 and is extremely competent and professional. She served in the Executive Branch for 17 years, ending that service as the Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Personnel, under Governor McWherter. I am confident that any review of our processes would show that we have fair hiring practices, and comply with all state and federal laws regarding personnel."