Raleigh, N.C. — A former state Democratic Party staffer has dropped his defamation suit against the party.
Adriadn Ortega claimed last year that the party smeared him after he claimed then-executive director Jay Parmley had sexually harassed him.
Documents emerged in April 2012 outlining Ortega's complaint and the fact that he was fired when he went to party officials about the problem. Parmley resigned when the information became public.
Former party Chairman David Parker said during a news conference shortly thereafter that there was no merit to Ortega's claims of harassment, defending Parmley as a "close talker" and "a friendly guy" who meant nothing sexual by his contact with Ortega.
Parker also said some incidents Ortega alleged "probably...didn't happen," and added that Ortega's letter to party lawyers seeking a severance agreement "smacked of extortion."
Ortega was represented by the law firm of Kieran Shanahan, who has since become secretary of the Department of Public Safety. Shanahan argued last year that Ortega had been maligned so the Democrats could hold their party together through the scandal.