NC Democratic Party chair won’t seek re-election

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RALEIGH, N.C. — The chairman of the North Carolina Democratic Party says he will not seek re-election after being pressured to step down in the fallout over harassment allegations at party headquarters.

David Parker told reporters in Raleigh on Thursday he is calling for new party elections next month but will not resign until a successor is chosen.

Parker said earlier this week he had no plans to resign despite calls by high-ranking Democrats for him to leave for the good of the party. He had said Wednesday a party executive committee would meet in June to determine his fate.

A federal discrimination complaint filed by a former party employee accusing party Executive Director Jay Parmley of sexual harassment was disclosed late Wednesday. Parmley resigned last weekend but denied any harassment.

Parker on Thursday defended his actions and said he followed the party attorney’s advice in handling allegations.

An attorney for the party, John Wallace, released Wednesday to The Associated Press a copy of the complaint that was filed Jan. 31 with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The complaint was filed by Adriadn Ortega. The AP typically does not identify victims of sexual harassment but Ortega gave the AP permission to identify him as the former party employee who filed the complaint.

“During my tenure I was sexually harassed by the executive director,” he wrote in the complaint, which indicated the allegation happened between early September and late November 2011.

Ortega said in the complaint he discussed the harassment with the party’s director of administration in September and that his supervisor told him on Oct. 1 that he had been advised of the allegations.

After meeting with another party operative, Ortega said he was told that there would be no retaliation for his complaint.

“I was no longer sexually harassed but on or around Nov. 21, 2011, my employment was terminated,” Ortega said in the complaint.
This article was provided by The Associated Press Wire.  (Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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