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.
The former staffer's firing embroiled the party soon after it occured in November. The party deflected all questions at the time. But the scandal hit the spotlight Friday after documents surfaced describing a complaint from a member of the party's executive committee about the secret settlement. The document did not identify the party official responsible.
The party declined to comment on the matter.
--John Frank and Jim Morrill, staff writers