Sex Harassment Scandal Hits NC Democratic Party

Tuesday, 17 Apr 2012 11:50 AM

By Andra Varin

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The top administrator of the North Carolina Democratic Party has resigned over a sexual harassment scandal and now critics are calling for party Chairman David Parker to step down as well.

Jay Parmley quit Sunday as the party’s executive director amid allegations that a former staffer was paid to keep silent about sexual harassment allegations. Parmley insisted he himself did not harass anyone.

"Let me be clear: I have never harassed any employee at any time at the (state party) or in any other job," he wrote in his resignation letter, according to WRAL-TV.

“Even though I have not done anything wrong, it is clear to me that I need to move on,” Parker said. “I refuse to be a distraction.”

Parmley’s resignation came just days after reports began circulating that a junior, male staffer stopped working for the party after being sexually harassed by a senior party official. Several party officials said they were told the party had settled with the young man and that he in return had signed a nondisclosure agreement.

The senior staffer has not been publicly identified.

Pressure is now increasing for Chairman Parker to resign.

“I think Jay did the right thing,” Democratic consultant Perry Woods told the News & Observer newspaper. “David Parker should join him.”

In a statement, Parker defended his decision not to fire Parmley, saying there were no grounds for termination.

“In this political world of rushing to judgment and the presumption of guilt, however, my legal and personal opinion has been outweighed by this having become a political distraction and issue,” Parker said.





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