Tennessee House Rep. Scotty Campbell Resigns Over Sexual Harassment Allegations After Voting To Expel Lawmakers For Gun Protest
Tennessee state lawmaker Scotty Campbell (R) resigned on Thursday, following the publication of the results of an ethics subcommittee investigation into sexual harassment allegations.
Campbell, the vice chair of the Tennessee House Republican Caucus, was found to have sexually harassed at least one legislative intern.
The findings were reported by Nashville local news Thursday morning, who then pressed Campbell live on air about the allegations.
Although the victim declined to comment on the story, an email given to the news station by her family gives some details of the case.
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The email provides one example where the lawmaker watched the unidentified 19-year-old college student enter her apartment with another female intern—later making “comments about how … he was in his apartment imagining that we were performing sexual acts on one another and how it drove him crazy knowing that was happening so close to him.”
The email says that after she denied his advances, Campbell told the intern that she was sexually attractive.
When interviewed on Thursday, Campbell had an alternative story.
“I had consensual, adult conversations with two adults off property… I think conversations are consensual once that is verbally agreed to. If I choose to talk to any intern in the future, it will be recorded,” insisted the lawmaker.
When asked what he meant by “consensual adult conversations,” Campbell replied that “private conversations are supposed to be private.”
Less than six hours later, Campbell resigned in a letter addressed to his colleagues, reading simply: “I resign from the Tennessee House of Representatives. Effective immediately.”
The report was concluded on March 29, and it is not entirely clear why it took three weeks for the report to become public.
“I can’t determine exactly when we saw it,” said Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton (R) when pressed on Thursday by reporters about how long he has known about the allegations. Sexton continued, “But, the determination was the subcommittee. The speaker has no role in putting out any kind of corrective action. That comes from the subcommittee.”
Campbell was among the Tennessee Republicans who recently voted to expel state Reps. Justin Jones (D) and Justin Pearson (D) for protesting gun violence, following a mass shooting at the Covenant School in Nashville which killed six people. The two black lawmakers have been reinstated after widespread accusations of racism were levied against the Tennessee House Republican majority.
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