Parker will not resign; Perdue urges him to go

David Parker

April 18, 2012 8:30:05 PM PDT
The chairman of the North Carolina Democratic Party isn't stepping down from his position despite calls from top Democrats for him to go.

In an email sent out just after 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, David Parker said he spoke with the party's executive council and was supported.

Click here to read the entire email (.pdf).

Parker has been under fire since the executive director of the party - Jay Parmley - resigned Sunday after emails began circulating in the media last week linking him to allegations of harassment.

In his resignation letter obtained by ABC11, Parmley vehemently denied harassing any party worker.

"Let me be clear: I have never harassed any employee at any time," said Parmley in part.

Click here to read the entire letter (.pdf).

Wednesday night, ABC11 obtained a copy of a federal sexual harassment complaint filed by a former North Carolina Democratic Party employee that claims he was fired from the embroiled organization despite assurances he would not be terminated after he raised objections.

An attorney for the state Democratic Party released the complaint that was filed Jan. 31 with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The employee alleges in the complaint he was sexually harassed by the party's executive director. The worker said the harassment stopped after he discussed the harassment with others but was fired in November despite being told there would be no retaliation for coming forward.

The former employee has not responded to several messages seeking comment Wednesday.

But in his email declining to resign, Parker said it's clear there was no cover up and that the matter was professionally and appropriately handled by the party's attorney.

In the message to the state's 700 Democratic Executive Committee Members, Parker wrote:

"I have met with our executive council via teleconference and am gratified by their strong support for my continued chairmanship. They have consulted with our party attorney and are clearly as satisfied as am I that 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."

He went on to say he would stay on at least until the party's scheduled election of officers in June:

"I look forward to moving this party forward from now until June 17. In the interim, we will be changing our personnel policies and searching for a new executive director."

Wednesday evening, Gov. Bev Perdue released a statement saying:

"I am reiterating my call for the chairman of the party to resign. The process laid out by the chairman in his email late today to Executive Committee members is totally unacceptable. The chairman needs to go."

Perdue asked Parker to step down soon after Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton, five other Council of State members and Democratic legislative leaders said he should resign. Two other candidates for governor -- state Rep. Bill Faison and former U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge - followed suit Tuesday night with calls that Parker resign.

Speaking on background with ABC11 Wednesday night, a senior Democratic National Committee official called Parker "a man without a party" and said "he needs to step aside."

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