Tennessee AG says he has authority to investigate Durham

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery is reasserting his authority to investigate sexual harassment allegations against state Rep. Jeremy Durham.

scaleThe Tennessean reports that the attorney general’s office, in an opinion issued Tuesday, said a special House committee gave Slatery the authority to conduct the probe.

Republican Rep. Rick Womick of Rockvale had posed questions about the investigation and called it a “witch hunt” and part of a “hit list” by Republican House Speaker Beth Harwell of Nashville.

Harwell called in February for Slatery’s office to investigate after several women alleged inappropriate behavior by Durham, both in person and via text messages.

Durham stepped down in January as House majority whip, but the lawmaker has denied any wrongdoing, has called the scope of the investigation “unreasonable,” and is seeking re-election.

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