Tennessee Lawmaker Ousted|for Harassment Claims

     NASHVILLE (CN) — The Tennessee House of Representatives voted Tuesday to expel a lawmaker over sexual-harassment allegations, marking its first expulsion in 36 years.
     Rep. Jeremy Durham, R-Franklin, was ousted by his colleagues in a 70-2 vote amid accusations of sexual harassment by 22 women. Sixty-six votes were needed to expel him.
     Durham, 32, said in Tuesday’s session that he has not been charged with a crime and no formal complaint has been filed against him. He asked his colleagues to “vote for due process.”
     The effort to remove Durham followed an attorney general’s investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct over his four years in office.
     Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery III released a report in July, finding that Durham “made inappropriate comments of a sexual nature or engaged in inappropriate physical contact with some women.” The report also said he “often used alcohol in his interaction with the women.”
     “Rep. Durham’s behavior created an environment that made a number of the women uncomfortable interacting with him in the workplace,” the report states.
     Durham lost his Republican primary last month.
     The last time a member of the state House was expelled was in 1980. Then-Rep. Robert Fisher was expelled for a bribery conviction.

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