Here's how Charlotte Observer editorial cartoonist Kevin Siers sums up Democratic Party Chairman David Parker's press conference Thursday.
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UPDATED: A former staffer accused the Democratic Party’s executive director of showing him a picture of a penis, caressing his leg and discussing his sexual exploits, according to a new document obtained by The News & Observer.
The sexual harassment claims are detailed in a Dec. 8 letter from Adriadn Ortega, a former party staffer, to then-Executive Director Jay Parmley. Ortega claims he was “fired in retaliation for my complaints of sexual harassment” and asks for a severance agreement equal to one year’s pay and health care coverage. Ortega, 26, made roughly $20,000 a year, according to campaign finance reports.
Ortega did not respond to questions. Parmley, 41, could not be reached for comment. He resigned Sunday but denied harassing any employee. He blamed political reasons for his departure.
*This post has been updated to correct description of picture in the letter.
UPDATED: Republicans at the national level are looking to make hay with the recent scandal -- state Rep. Bill Faison's word from last night's debate -- at the N.C. Democratic Party.
The National Republican Congressional Committee issued email missives Tuesday asking two targeted Democratic congressmen to take a stance on allegations of sexual harassment and a financial settlement with a former staffer that led to the resignation of Executive Director Jay Parmley.
From The Charlotte Observer's editorial cartoonist Kevin Siers.
Party activists are calling for the N.C. Democratic Party chairman and executive director to resign amid questions concerning a secret agreement to pay a former staffer to keep quiet about sexual harassment allegations.
Chairman David Parker and Executive Director Jay Parmley are facing tough 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."
The party must be "not only beyond guilt but above suspicion, and event a hint or perception of a cover-up is damaging to the party's credibility," the resolution stated.
Lt. Gov. Dalton: If harassment allegations true, Democratic party official should resign or be firedSubmitted by jbfrank on 2012-04-14 20:13
If the sexual harassment allegations in a scandal embroiling the state Democratic Party are true, the party official responsible should resign, said Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton, a leading candidate for governor.
"We cannot tolerate sexual harassment in the workplace," Dalton said Saturday at the Mecklenburg County Democratic Party convention. "If there's any truth to the allegations, somebody should resign or be fired immediately. We won't tolerate that."
Dalton's remarks came a day after a top state party activist raised questions about whether the N.C. Democratic Party arranged a financial settlement to cover up allegations that a former staffer was fired after he complained about being harassed by a senior party official.
Two other leading candidates for the party's gubernatorial nomination, former Congressman Bob Etheridge and state Rep. Bill Faison, dodged questions Saturday about the matter, saying they didn't know enough about the situation to comment.