NC Dems demand state chairman’s resignation, compare harassment scandal to Watergate

Matthew Boyle Investigative Reporter
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North Carolina Democratic gubernatorial candidate and former congressman Bob Etheridge has called for his state party’s chairman to resign over the same-sex sexual harassment scandal currently embroiling the party.

Etheridge also praised the state party’s now-former executive director Jay Parmley for resigning. Parmley resigned on Sunday.

“Mr. Parmley has done the right thing by resigning his position with [the] party,” Etheridge said in a statement, according to the Raleigh News and Observer. “I know that Chairman [David] Parker will also do what is right.”

Former Democratic Gov. Jim Hunt’s chief political strategist Gary Pearce has likened Parker’s role in this in scandal to how former President Richard Nixon handled Watergate.

“The Watergate break-in was almost 40 years ago,” Pearce said in a blog post. “NC Democratic Party Chair David Parker is marking the occasion with his own cover-up.”

“Memo to Parker: You can’t cover up sexual harassment,” Pearce added. “Democrats deserve to know what the hell happened — and how much money it’s costing. And don’t blame your political enemies. That’s what Nixon would do.” (RELATED: NC Democratic Party executive director resigns in wake of sexual harassment scandal)

Former party administrator Sally Leslie told local news station WRAL that she quit the party six weeks ago because she disapproved of how leadership handled issues like this. “I, quite frankly, could not be a part of any organization that protected a predator,” Leslie said.

It’s unclear if Parker will also resign. State Democratic Party spokesman Walton Robinson has not returned any of The Daily Caller’s requests for comment on this scandal.

Last week The Daily Caller uncovered emails that seemed to show that an unidentified state Democratic Party official, later revealed to be Parmley, sexually harassed communications staffer Adriadn Ortega.

The emails indicated that the Democratic Party made a financial settlement with Ortega, and that both Ortega and Parmley signed non-disclosure agreements to keep the incident quiet.

Local news outlets have reported that Ortega was fired after he made the sexual-harassment allegations, and that the state party has not been transparent about his firing since it happened.

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