By EMILY R. WEST
Standing outside on War Memorial Plaza, the director of the Tennessee Democratic Party said she hoped to see Speaker Beth Harwell push for another investigation into illegal conduct at the legislature.
Democratic Party Executive Director Mary Mancini said the Attorney General’s report in regard to now-expelled Jeremy Durham revealed illegal activity that has yet to be investigated. The legislature expelled Durham last week on a 70-2 vote during a session called to rewrite DUI legislation that had jeopardized Tennessee keeping $60 million in road funding from the federal government.
Mancini said the AG’s report also exposed the firing of a “whistle blower,” by another Republican state representative.
Posted by Tennessee Democratic Party on Thursday, September 22, 2016
“And the Republican state representative in that instance has not yet been investigated,” she said.
Mancini also pointed the finger at Harwell, saying that it was her place to step up and call for the investigation. She also noted that she didn’t want to see Harwell take credit for anything related to Durham’s expulsion.
“She’s more concerned about covering it up, putting it to rest, taking credit for it and her own political self preservation,” Mancini said.
Mancini said the party called for two things – for Harwell to stop taking credit immediately and to hold accountable the unnamed representative who fired her assistant because she reported sexual harassment.
“We know there was illegal activity,” she said. “What is it nobody knows yet. To say this is a chapter that’s ended is reprehensible and infuriating. We are talking about crime, illegal activity. And did it involve other representatives. What is most infuriating is that Speaker Harwell has covered it up from day one. She did nothing to proactively getting rid of Jeremy Durham and there are loose ends to this story. We are trying to get her to step up.”