Democratic Rep. Larry Kissell, a U.S. congressman from North Carolina, has now called for his state party chairman, David Parker, to resign amid the sexual harassment scandal roiling the North Carolina Democratic Party (NCDP).
Raleigh News and Observer John Frank, who has been reporting on the scandal The Daily Caller broke last Friday, tweeted the news Tuesday afternoon.
NCDP Executive Director Jay Parmley resigned after reports that he allegedly sexually harassed low-level communications staffer Adriadn Ortega. TheDC reported first on emails between high-ranking party officials that confirmed the allegations of sexual harassment and that the party made a financial settlement with Ortega before having Ortega and Parmley both sign non-disclosure agreements to keep the scandal quiet.
Since Parmley’s resignation on Sunday, several other high-ranking Democrats in North Carolina have called for his boss’s resignation as well. It’s unclear as of yet whether NCDP Chairman David Parker will resign, but Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bob Etheridge has called for it, as has the Charlotte Observer’s editorial board.
North Carolina Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue has downplayed the scandal and told reporters on Tuesday to “get over it.”
Kissell’s call for Parker’s resignation comes on the heels of one of his GOP challengers, Richard Hudson, criticizing him for silence on the issue.
“As with other scandals, including Operation Fast and Furious, [General Services Administration’s] lavish taxpayer-funded parties and now the NCDP sexual harassment scandal, the people of the 8th District have no voice under Larry Kissell,” Hudson said in a statement. “I will provide that voice as your congressman. Once again, Larry Kissell has refused to lead — I will.”
“Sexual harassment in the workplace should not be tolerated and Larry Kissell should say that publicly,” Hudson added. “The N.C. Democratic Party needs to end its silence and those responsible for the harassment and subsequent cover-up should be held accountable.”
Hudson has previously railed on Kissell for hypocrisy — specifically when it comes to how he has handled the congressional response to Operation Fast and Furious. Though 125 members of the House have now demanded Attorney General Eric Holder resign, have signed an official House resolution of ”no confidence” in Holder or both, Kissell remains silent on the issue. He and 30 other House Democrats had written a June 3, 2011 letter to President Barack Obama demanding he direct Holder and the Department of Justice to comply with all congressional requests for Fast and Furious information — something Holder has not done.
Hudson has criticized Kissell for his failure to follow through on that letter he wrote with colleagues to Obama.