Speaker supports session to oust accused lawmaker

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee’s Republican House speaker says she now supports convening a special session to expel a state lawmaker accused of sexually harassing at least 22 women.

Democrats this week called for the special session in order to deny Republican Rep. Jeremy Durham a pension of more than $300 per month even if he’s not re-elected this year.

Speaker Beth Harwell initially opposed that call on the basis of cost, but said Thursday that she changed her mind after speaking with House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick and Republican Caucus Chairman Glen Casada (CASS-uh-da). She urged Durham to resign to save taxpayer money.

Durham suspended his re-election campaign earlier this month after a state attorney general’s office released a report containing numerous allegations of sexual harassment. The lawmaker has denied nearly all of the allegations.