A committee has released a report in the investigation of accusations of sexual harassment by lawmaker Jeremy Durham.
The ad hoc committee met Wednesday to discuss the Attorney General's investigation on Durham.
Attorney General Slatery told the committee that an attorney with the AG's office made or received in excess of 180 phone calls to locate witnesses and conducted 78 interviews, including 22 women in connection with incidents involving Representative Durham.
Committee Attorney, Doug Himes, presenting the final report. @NC5 pic.twitter.com/zI4xjxKcvU
— Jesse Knutson (@NC5_JKnutson) July 13, 2016
Committee attorney Doug Himes presented the final report. He said what was found in the report justifies Durham's expulsion from the House of Representatives. However, the committee decided to leave the decision up to the voters.
The 48-page report detailed numerous inappropriate interactions Durham had with women in the Legislature or as a result of his position in the Legislature.
One lobbyist told the AG's office that Durham never looked at her face, and instead stared only at her breasts when they spoke.
It also describes an interaction between him and a 20-year-old college student in which they had sex at legislative plaza after drinking alcohol in Durham's office. The student also reported having sex with Durham at his home.
Another witness said Durham would drink in his office at legislative plaza, sometimes during the day.
In addition, two women reported that Durham offered them dirty mints from his pocket in a suggestive manner, giving him the nickname "Pants Candy".
Speaker Beth Harwell held a press conference following the meeting saying Durham's fate was now up to the voters. She said, "This may be one of the few times in his life has been held accountable."
Harwell continued to encourage everyone in Durham's district to read the report to learn all of the details before casting their vote. “In my opinion, Representative Durham’s conduct as described in the report does not reflect the conservative values that the citizens of the 65th district should expect and deserve from their representation.”
Democratic officials were upset after the report was released after learning that the committee did not recommend having a special session to remove Durham from office.
“The report is confidential, the names are confidential, but we know that these women were harassed mercilessly by this man and leadership continues to do absolutely nothing," Mary Mancini, Tennessee Democratic Party chair, said.
Durham's attorney filed a motion in court to block the release of the report. However, a judge denied that motion Tuesday afternoon.
Following the release of the report, Bill Harbison, the attorney for Durham, released the following statement:
"We have just read the report, ironically receiving it from the media before we received it from the Attorney General’s office. It reaffirms what we argued yesterday in Court. The investigation has been a politically motivated, unfair and unconstitutional process. Even though nobody ever filed a complaint of sexual harassment, the investigation goes into alleged details with allegations from witnesses whose identity is completely anonymous. Unlike any normal legal proceeding where there is an opportunity to confront witnesses, get notice of subpoenas, or, at the very least, understand the exact allegations against a person, this investigation has been secretive and deceptive from the very beginning. We believe that no fair-minded person should judge Jeremy Durham based on a one-sided, anonymous report."