Tennessee state Rep. Jeremy Durham (R), who was expelled from the state House on Tuesday after a damning report on his alleged sexual misconduct, is now raising the prospect of suing the state over his expulsion.
Durham told Nashville, Tennessee, television station WTVF on Wednesday that he is considering suing the state but has not “decided completely.” He said that the state house decision to expel him during the special session was “unconstitutional.”
He told WTVF that he should not have been expelled because no formal complaint against him was ever filed. And he criticized House Speaker Beth Harwell for holding the expulsion vote during a special session regarding highway funding.
“My issue is with leadership and the due process, what these folks have said about me has nothing to do with highway money,” he said.
Though no formal complaint has been filed against Durham, the state attorney general released a report in July detailing accounts of sexual harassment and inappropriate physical contact from 22 women who worked at or with the state House.
Durham denied to WTVF that he ever had sex in his office, despite the accusations detailed in the July report that he slept with a 20-year-old in his House office.
In a separate interview with Nashville television station WKRN, Durham admitted that he was “flirtatious.”
“There are things that I said that I wish I hadn’t,” he told WKRN. “There were some times that I was more flirtatious than I should have been, and that’s been a downfall of mine.”
But he also dismissed the allegations in the attorney generals’ report, arguing that many of them simply involved him asking to get a beer.
“A lot of the allegations though, if you look at what they’re saying, most of it is like ‘He asked me to get a beer.’ That’s most of the allegations,” he said. “If getting a beer is all it takes, then we need to expel a lot of the General Assembly, not just me.”
The report included accusations from several women that Durham harassed them via text message, hounding them to get drinks with him and attempting to get the women alone. He also made inappropriate comments and engaged in unwanted behavior, like attempting to kiss a woman and lingering with a hug.