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Thursday, April 19, 2012

David Parker Holds News Conference! Perdue Ignored Gay Sex Harassment Scandal Until It Went Public

North Carolina's Racially-Divided Democratic Party is Rocked by yet Another Scandal involving Corruption among its Leadership.

This time the Scandal involves Gay Sexual Harassment & Retaliation Allegations.

NC Gov. Bev Perdue previously Investigated for Campaign Finance Corruption, Chose to Ignore this Dirty Scandal and Intervene ONLY after this story was leaked to the National Public.

Jay Parmley, North Carolina's Executive Director of the Democratic Party, Resigned amid Gay Sexual Harassment Claims.

David Parker, Chairman of the North Carolina Democratic Party is also Expected to Resign Amid Sexual Harassment Claims.

David Parker, North Carolina Democratic Party Chair, Expected To Resign Amid Controversy

David Parker, chairman of the Democratic Party in North Carolina, is expected to step down amid allegations that he helped facilitate a plot to cover up claims of sexual harassment by a former staffer who left the party last year.

Parker had previously sounded defiant, but Gov. Bev Perdue (D) on Tuesday capped off a chorus of Democratic voices that have come forward this week to express their concern that Parker's continued leadership is a distraction for the party.

Perdue told Parker that "he had lost the confidence of Democratic leaders, and I asked him to step aside for the good of the party," the Raleigh News & Observer reports. She had earlier faced tough questioning on the matter, but insisted it was an "internal personnel matter" before telling a persistent reporter to "get over it." Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton also spoke in favor of Parker's resignation on Tuesday.

Their comments came shortly after five top Democratic officials, including the secretary of state and state treasurer, released a statement demanding Parker's resignation and claiming that "change needs to be made as we prepare for the general election in November."

The controversy over a former staffer who came forward with sexual harassment allegations escalated Friday, when emails regarding the account were obtained by the News & Observer.

From their report:

The emails included questions from a member of the state's executive committee about a financial settlement and nondisclosure agreement with a former staffer who left the party in November after complaining about being sexually harassed by a senior staff member.

The emails did not identify the staffers nor discuss the actions that constituted harassment.

The situation is particularly sensitive for North Carolina Democrats, who will play host to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte this summer.

Read more at the Raleigh News & Observer.

Penis picture, gay sex descriptions among sexual harassment allegations against NC Democrat

A bombshell letter from the former North Carolina Democratic Party (NCDP) communications staffer to now-former NCDP Executive Director Jay Parmley detailing the allegations of sexual harassment has surfaced.

In the letter, dated Dec. 8, 2011 — which local news outlet WRAL first published with redactions of alleged victim Adriadn Ortega’s name — Ortega alleges that Parmley “frequently gave me unwanted shoulder rubs despite my verbal objections” and that Parmley “often solicited my opinion on his clothes.”

“He would point both hands to his crotch area and ask me how his crotch looked in those pants that day,” Ortega wrote, adding that Parmley “would frequently pretend to punch my crotch and make a popping noise with his mouth.”

“On July 28, 2011, the executive director discussed, in detail, his sexual activities from the past when he was living in South Carolina,” Ortega then said. “In addition, he discussed in detail his sexual activities from when he moved to North Carolina, where he solicited sex from gay websites such as [REDACTED].”

The next day — on July 29, 2011 — Ortega alleged that Parmley “showed me a picture of a penis.”

“And, on September 6, 2011, during the drive back from the DNC Kick-Off in Charlotte, the executive director reached back several times from the driver’s seat and caressed my leg,” Ortega added.

Ortega said he raised concerns about this behavior — which he described as sexual harassment — with Parmley on Oct. 1, 2011. Two days later, he went to former NCDP Executive Director Scott Falmlen to discuss the behavior as well. Ortega said Falmlen described him as a “valuable employee,” but Parmley turned around and fired him on Nov. 21, 2011.

In the letter, Ortega said he believes he was “fired in retaliation for my complaints of sexual harassment.”

Ortega then said he would sign a “separation agreement, confidentiality agreement and release” on the condition that he got a financial settlement package. The package he requested to stay quiet was a “provision of severance compensation equal to one year’s pay” and “with regards to health insurance, NCDP will cover the cost of my COBRA for one year or until I find employment with health coverage, whichever comes first.”

The exact value of the financial settlement package Ortega received for signing the non-disclosure agreement he later signed is at this point unclear. NCDP officials have continually refused to answer questions about it.

NCDP spokesman Walton Robinson has not responded to any of The Daily Caller’s requests for comment on this scandal, and did not answer when asked for comment about this letter.

After TheDC broke this story last week, Parmley resigned on Sunday. Since then, a chorus of high-profile Democrats have demanded the immediate resignation of Parmley’s boss, NCDP Chairman David Parker. North Carolina’s Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue, the highest profile official to demand Parker’s resignation, admitted that she has been aware of the allegations of sexual harassment since “late last year.” She called for Parker’s resignation only after telling a reporter who asked about the scandal to “get over it

Late on Wednesday, Parker defied Perdue and publicly refused to step aside amid the scandal and subsequent appearance of a cover-up. “There was no cover-up and that the personnel matter was professionally and appropriately handled by the party’s attorney using the highest ethical standards.”

Before this new letter surfaced, Perdue responded to Parker’s public defiance and refusal to resign by saying that wasn’t acceptable. According to local news reports, Perdue said Parker “needs to go.”

Brad Crone, a North Carolina Democratic campaign consultant, told TheDC that he thinks this letter proves even more so that Parker needs to resign.

“This story is spiraling out of control and is damaging the party in ways we cannot imagine,” Crone wrote in an email. “I do not understand how Chairman Parker is willing to put himself before the interest of the party. The Democratic Party is bigger than one person, it’s sad that Chairman Parker doesn’t realize that fact. This letter is devastating and shows a real lack in judgment in managing the senior staff. Clearly, it’s time for Chairman Parker to resign and do it now.”

White House spokesman Eric Schultz, Democratic National Committee spokesman Brad Woodhouse and Obama re-election campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt have not returned any of TheDC’s requests for comment on the issue.

Even so, Obama is scheduled to visit North Carolina next Tuesday. “Next week we’ll find out whether or not he has the support of President Obama,” North Carolina GOP spokesman Rob Lockwood told TheDC.

Letter details allegations of sexual harassment by ex-director of N.C. Democratic Party

A former staffer accused the North Carolina Democratic Party’s executive director of caressing his leg and discussing his sexual exploits, according to a new document obtained by The (Raleigh) News & Observer.

The sexual harassment allegations are detailed in a Dec. 8 letter from Adriadn Ortega, a former party staffer, to then-executive director Jay Parmley. Ortega claimed he was “fired in retaliation for my complaints of sexual harassment” and asked for a severance equal to his annual pay and health care coverage for a year.

His allegations match those detailed in a complaint filed Jan. 31 with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission obtained by The N&O. The EEOC complaint stated that Ortega tracked the alleged harassment in a notebook.

Ortega, 26, did not respond to questions. Parmley, 41, could not be reached for comment. He resigned Sunday but denied harassing any employee. He blamed political reasons for his departure.

The letter became public minutes after state party chairman David Parker refused to resign under pressure from party leaders, including Gov. Bev Perdue, who asked him to step aside “for the good of the party.” In a statement, Parker, 57, a Statesville lawyer, said he had the “strong support” of the party’s executive council.

“They have consulted with our party attorney and are clearly as satisfied as I am that there was no cover up and that the personnel matter was professionally and appropriately handled by the party’s attorney,” according to his statement.

He called for a referendum June 17 on his chairmanship.

Perdue called Parker’s plan “totally unacceptable.” Parker’s top deputy, first vice-chair Gwen Wilkins, said Parker didn’t have the support of all executive council members. “The chairman needs to go,” Perdue said in a statement Wednesday evening.

Settlement confirmed

As chairman, Parker authorized a settlement agreement with Ortega. It’s unclear whether the terms of the severance Ortega put forth in the letter were met, but party officials confirmed the agreement’s existence. The settlement includes a confidentiality agreement, which Ortega wrote in his letter that he would sign.

Parker could not be reached for comment.

In the letter, Ortega says Parmley:

• Frequently gave him unwanted shoulder rubs despite verbal objections.

• Pointed to his crotch area and asked how his crotch looked in his pants.

• On July 28, detailed his past sexual activities.

• On July 29, showed Ortega a picture of a penis.

• On Sept. 6, caressed Ortega’s leg as they drove back from a Democratic convention kick-off in Charlotte.

In the letter, Ortega writes that he confronted Parmley on Oct. 1, and met two days later with Scott Falmlen, a former state party executive director, to discuss the situation. Falmlen recalled the conversation, but said Ortega didn’t share the “salacious specifics ... I have seen for the first time tonight.”

In the EEOC complaint, Ortega said he was no longer harassed after the meeting. But he was fired Nov. 21.

In his letter, he defended his work as a tracker, a party operative who follows opposition candidates and takes video of their speeches.

“I believe that the sexual harassment towards me created an offensive, hostile work environment,” Ortega wrote.

Ortega, who started working for the party in March 2010, asked for a settlement equivalent to his pay. He made roughly $20,000 a year, according to campaign-finance reports.

He gave the party a week to respond, threatening to make a complaint to the party’s executive council or pursue legal action.

Late Wednesday, Democratic Party attorney John Wallace released a statement saying “in this type of situation, it is difficult if not impossible, to ascertain the truth.”

He said the terms of the agreement were confidential, but Ortega “acknowledged that he had a satisfactory working relationship with the Democratic Party.”

The News & Observer began investigating Ortega’s departure in December. The state party refused to comment at the time, calling it a personnel matter. Ortega also initially denied being harassed and keeping a notebook.

The allegations did not become public until April 13, when party email messages were obtained by The News & Observer. The messages did not detail the allegations nor identify the individuals involved.

Parmley, who served less than a year at the helm of the party, denied harassing any employee and blamed right-wing political enemies for “spreading a false and misleading story.”

Jay Parmley, North Carolina Democratic Party Director, Resigns Amid Harassment Allegations

The executive director of the North Carolina Democratic Party has resigned amid concern among party activists about high turnover at the party headquarters and harassment allegations there.

Jay Parmley, who became the top administrator last year after holding a similar post in South Carolina, resigned Sunday.

He wrote in a resignation letter that he had "never harassed any employee at any time at the (state party) or in any other job."

State party leaders raised concerns after e-mails circulated last week that mentioned the allegations, which the party has not detailed.

State party chairman David Parker agreed that the issues involving Parmley were becoming a political distraction, particularly in an election year.

The Democratic National Convention will be held in Charlotte in less than five months.

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Sources: Daily Caller, Huffington Post, McClatchy Newspapers, WCNC, WRAL, Youtube, Google Maps

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