Democrat resigns amid sexual harassment stories

Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke

News reports of sexual harrassment and hush money forced a North Carolina Democratic Party official to resign today, though he blamed conservative media for spreading a false story.

"Even though I have not done anything wrong, it is clear to me that I need to move on," Jay Parmley, executive director of his state party, wrote in a resignation letter today. Parmley "blamed right-wing blogs for 'spreading a false and misleading story' about the incident," according to The News & Observer (Raleigh).

Parmley was presumably referring to The Drudge Report and The Daily Caller, which broke the story at the national level. TheDC said that the party staffer allegedly harrassed by Parmley "made a financial settlement with the party and signed a non-disclosure agreement to keep the incident quiet."

The Drudge Report highlighted the story with the headline, "Party official sexually harassed staffer; party fears credibility 'doomed.'" Drudge also noted that North Carolina is the host of the Democratic National Convention this year.

The credibility question was based on emails quoted in TheDC item. "If this hits the media, the Democratic Party, our candidates, and our credibility are doomed in this election," Democratic Party officials reportedly wrote to each other about the sexual harrassment allegations.

North Carolina Democrats previously faced scandal when it was revealed that staffers for Gov. Bev Perdue, D-N.C., were "using embargoed federal data for political advantage, putting state employees at risk of jail time."

Perdue also raised eyebrows when she said "we ought to suspend, perhaps, elections for Congress for two years and just tell them we won’t hold it against them, whatever decisions they make, to just let them help this country recover."

Perdue decided not to run for reelection this year.

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