NC governor who downplayed harassment allegations declared April ‘Sexual Assault Awareness Month’

Matthew Boyle Investigative Reporter
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Two weeks ago North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue declared April “Sexual Assault Awareness Month.” On Tuesday she told a local news reporter to “get over” reports about sexual harassment allegations within her own party.

After citing a series of rape and sexual assault statistics, Perdue announced the special month in the Tar Heel State, “urg[ing] all citizens to commend its observance.”

But Perdue attracted criticism on Tuesday, answering media questions about the sexual harassment scandal roiling her state’s Democratic Party by telling a reporter to “get over it.” (RELATED: Bev Perdue on state Democratic Party sexual harassment scandal: ‘Get over it’ [VIDEO])

The governor has since refused to comment on the matter, deflecting criticism by saying the scandal is an internal personnel matter. Local news reporters had confronted Perdue about the scandal and asked her why she has not pushed for full disclosure by the N.C. Democratic Party.

Perdue has previously called herself the “transparency governor.”

During the heated exchange with reporters Tuesday, Perdue claimed her constituents don’t care about sexual harassment cases like the one that claimed the job of state Democratic Party executive director Jay Parmley.

“My comment continues to be: This is an internal personnel matter at the party and the party is working on it, and so I would just ask everybody else there to focus on what really matters to North Carolinians — and that’s jobs for people and good schools for their children,” Perdue said.

“That’s the fundamental issue before us as we enter an election cycle, and I cannot get into personnel matters.”

Perdue then refused to say whether she would support an investigation, and declined to say when she first learned about the sexual harassment allegations, or about anything about the scandal.

Pushed again for answers, Perdue told one reporter: “Get over it.”

When contacted on Tuesday afternoon, a spokesman for Perdue refused to answer when The Daily Caller asked whether the governor still considers April 2012 “Sexual Assault Awareness Month.”

Allegations of sexual harassment inside the North Carolina Democratic Party first surfaced when TheDC published a chain of emails between party insiders. None of the allegations have involved sexual assault.

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