Durham files suit over Attorney General investigation


Durham files suit over Attorney General investigation

Days before early voting starts in Williamson County, Franklin’s Jeremy Durham has filed papers in Davidson County Court, suing both Attorney General Herbert Slatery and Speaker Beth Harwell.

Days before early voting starts in Williamson County, Franklin’s Jeremy Durham has filed papers in Davidson County Court, suing both Attorney General Herbert Slatery and Speaker Beth Harwell.

Court documents provided by Durham state the Republican legislator up for the House District 65 seat has filed three arguments in the Davidson County Chancery Court for injunctive relief. During the last few months, Slatery has been investigating claims against Durham due to questions of misconduct in the legislature.

Speaker Harwell created a special committee to investigate the questions in February. It will hold a public meeting next Wednesday.

Overall, the embattled incumbent argued any results or reports would “cause immediate and irreparable harm to Rep. Durham’s re-election campaign.”

“The release of the report at this time is unnecessary and unwarranted as the General Assembly recessed sine die and expulsion action against Rep. Durham requires a full vote of the House,” court documents stated. “The legislature will not be back in session until January 2017, so there is no reason for an urgent release of this report.”

The first of Durham’s three motions detailed that the Attorney General doesn’t possess the authority to investigate those in the legislature.

The second explains Durham had not been given his due process as he has dealt with the investigation, while the third added the investigation should have ended in conjunction when the legislature ended its business.

If a judge agrees with his suit in a hearing early Tuesday afternoon, it could delay the documents from coming out before the election. In totality, Durham would like to prevent the whole investigative report from coming out to the public.

Original investigation details came out in January, when The Tennessean reported three different women had claimed Durham sent them inappropriate messages to their cell phones. Durham has told the Home Page in recent months he doesn’t remember those text messages, and would need to see what the Tennessean has received to confirm their validity.

In recent months, Durham stepped away from the GOP and had his office removed out of legislative plaza, when a glimpse of Slatery’s report emerged.

This summer, Durham has continued to campaign for his seat. He will face Sam Whitson and Stacey Givens on the Aug. 4 primary ballot. The winner of that election will face Democrat Holly McCall in November.

Emily West covers Franklin and Williamson County government and schools for Home Page Media Group. Contact her at emily@franklinhomepage.com. Follow her on Twitter via @emwest22.

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