SALT LAKE CITY – The Salt Lake County Democratic Party is calling for the resignation of Utah State Senator Gene Davis, who was accused of sexual harassment by former staff member.
The woman was originally an intern for Davis, a Democrat who represents Senate District 3 in Salt Lake City on Utah’s Capitol Hill. She was later hired as a paid staff member for her campaign. She said she had heard of past allegations from other former staffers against Davis, but expressed her concerns about whether to work at Capitol Hill. She said she was harassed while in both positions.
Last month, shortly after the woman shared her allegations via social media, the The Salt Lake County Democratic Party ‘temporarily’ suspended him of any event, committee and activity related to the party. The The Utah State Senate then launched an investigation. in the charges, and the The Utah Democratic Party also suspended him from party activities after he reportedly refused to resign voluntarily at the request of party leaders.
On Tuesday, the Salt Lake County Democratic Party announced that its Judiciary Committee completed an investigation on Sept. 8 and voted unanimously to back the claim that it “violated the party’s anti-harassment policy.” They then recommended to the Executive Committee that Davis be suspended for two years from all official party events and all party support, and asked him to resign.
The executive committee unanimously accepted the recommendation at a meeting held Sept. 12, then forwarded the decision to Davis and the woman who brought the charges against him.
There was a 14-day period in which an appeal could be lodged, but the party wrote in Tuesday’s announcement that it had not received one – so the recommendation went into effect. They officially called for his “immediate and unconditional resignation”, and he was suspended for two years from all party events and support.
“We remain committed to providing a safe and welcoming environment, free from harassment, for all who wish to participate,” the party said in a written statement. “We take our responsibility to provide this environment seriously and will always stand up for those who are harassed, regardless of the identity of the accused.”
Last week, Davis declined to comment when asked by FOX 13 News about the charges against him.
Davis lost his primary election this year to Nate Blouin and will not be in office when the 2023 legislative session begins in January. If he resigns before the general election, the party will choose an interim senator to fill the vacancy until the new senator takes office.
However, an attorney representing Davis released a statement late Tuesday saying he would not resign. He also accused the party of conducting an unfair investigation. He also claims that he appealed the decision, but his appeal was ignored.
The full statement reads as follows:
“The Salt Lake County Democratic Party Executive recently released the results of its internal investigation into the allegations against Senator Gene Davis. The Executive Committee said its investigation was conducted fairly in accordance with its policy and anti-harassment procedure.
“Nothing could be further from the truth. The Salt Lake County Democratic Executive Committee failed to follow the most important procedures in its ‘investigation.'” From the scathing Twitter statement posted by the President Eva Lopez on August 4, 2022, the Salt Lake County Democratic Party Executive Committee has consistently and continuously violated the Democratic Party’s Anti-Harassment Policy procedures, requirements, and restrictions, including but not limited to , the requirement of confidentiality, the right to an impartial investigation and the right to appeal any decision.
“As multiple statements from the executive committee of the Salt Lake County Democratic Party demonstrate, confidentiality was never even contemplated, let alone followed. Further, rather than ensuring an impartial process, the accuser in this case was allowed to sit on the Judiciary and Executive Committee.Contrary to the statement released today by the Salt Lake Democratic Party, Senator Davis did in fact appeal the decision of the Executive Committee in a timely manner, but his appeal was simply ignored by the executive branch of the Salt Lake County Democratic Party There is no check of powers in the Salt Lake County Democratic Party because the same people investigating the allegations are the people who are the prosecutor, the jury and the court of appeal.
“At no time during the Salt Lake County Democratic Party’s investigation was Senator Davis given an opportunity to be heard, a violation of his constitutionally protected due process rights. While the leadership of the Salt Lake County Democratic Party claims to believe in Constitutional protections, in practice they do not follow due process.
“Senator Davis has done nothing to warrant his resignation from the Utah State Senate. Senator Davis will continue to be a fervent voice on Capitol Hill for public education and for health and economic stability. of Utah families Senator Davis is saddened that the Salt Lake County party leaders have continually violated party policies and procedures, but he will continue to tirelessly serve the greats of his district and the State of Utah throughout his tenure, as he has for the past 36 years.”