Lawmakers took the first step Monday toward a full investigation into embattled Rep. Jeremy Durham (R, Franklin) and the sexual harassment allegations against him.
The entire meeting lasted less than four minutes as the 4-member panel passed a resolution that calls for the Attorney General to take over the investigation.
"We did a lot today," said committee chair Rep. Steve McDaniel (R, Parkers Crossroads), "we formalized our request for the Attorney General to investigate. And that's the first step."
The resolution specifically lays out the fact that the committee has the power to issue subpoenas, enforcing people to testify or give up evidence like phone records.
To read the full resolution, click here.
That could play a big role in the future, because the sexual harassment allegations against Durham stem from alleged text messages he sent to women who work on Capitol Hill. Durham has denied sending any inappropriate texts.
Once the AG issues his report, the committee will then take action, if necessary.
But Democrats aren't satisfied with Monday's move. They say more than one woman should serve on the four-person committee and that the investigation should include members of the House leadership like Speaker Beth Harwell, Leader Gerald McCormick and Caucus Chair Glen Casada who admit to knowing at least rumors of the allegations for months.
"For them to kick this up to the Attorney General and say he needs to investigate just Jeremy Durham is missing the larger picture," Democratic Party Chair Mary Mancini said. Mancini has called for the Republican House leaders to resign over what she considers was the mismanagement of the situation.
State Attorney General Herbert Slatery III released the following statement after the resolution passed unanimously:
“We recognize the importance of this matter to the Ad Hoc Select Committee and to the full House. Everyone has one goal – to ensure a thorough and fair investigation while respecting the process and those involved.”
Chair McDaniel said there is no timeline for the investigation.