Exec. Director of #NCDems steps down amidst sexual harassment allegations

Via the Raleigh News and Observer:

RALEIGH The executive director of the N.C. Democratic Party resigned Sunday as calls for his ouster mounted amid questions regarding a secret agreement to pay a former staffer to keep quiet about sexual harassment allegations.

Jay Parmley, who served a year at the helm of the party, denied harassing any employee and blamed right-wing blogs for “spreading a false and misleading story” about the incident.

“Even though I have not done anything wrong, it is clear to me that I need to move on,” Parmley wrote in his resignation letter.

Party Chairman David Parker accepted his resignation but avoided any comment on the case and suggested Parmley didn’t deserve to be fired for cause. He blamed politics.

“After consulting legal counsel, and based on my own experience in harassment cases and my own personal philosophy, it became my opinion that there have not been grounds for termination for cause of Jay Parmley,” said Parker, an attorney. “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.”

Earlier this weekend, party activists called for Parmley and Parker to resign amid questions about a financial settlement given to a low-level staffer earlier this year who was fired soon after he complained about being sexually harassed by a senior party official. The settlement agreement and nondisclosure statement came to light Friday in internal party emails obtained by The News & Observer, but the documents did not identify the party official responsible.

At the Wake and Durham county party conventions Saturday, party activists introduced resolutions demanding Parker and Parmley resign or be fired. Other party officials also are privately asking the two top officials to leave for the sake of the party.

In Wake County, Democratic consultant Perry Woods put forth a resolution saying the party “must deal with sexual harassment claims in an open and transparent fashion.”

Of course, one of their biggest concerns in reality is not the actual sexual harassment allegations themselves but the fact this could taint the party going into the Democrat National Convention, which will take place here in Charlotte in September.

I suspect the “right wing blog” Parmley was referring to was The Daily Caller, where reporter Matthew Boyle wrote about this story on Friday. It quickly spread to the UK Daily Mail, The Free Beacon, and other traditionally right-wing leading blogs and news outlets. Make sure to read the emails obtained by The Daily Caller.

Will be interesting to see if this story goes viral here in North Carolina. Somehow I doubt it, considering the big newspapers here are liberally biased and tend to not dig into allegations of wrongdoing by Democrats until they are well out of office, but we’ll see.

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