On Friday, a Democratic insider forced a weeks-old rumor about Jay Parmley, the N.C. Democratic Party's executive director, into the public sphere. That insider sent to several media outlets, including WRAL, an e-mail chain in which a party executive committee member suggests Parmley had been accused of sexual harassment by a male staffer. That chain also suggests the party quietly settled that allegation with an out of court settlement.
As local news outlets worked to confirm the claims, The Daily Caller website published the whole thing in the middle of the day.
Party leaders didn't provide much by way of a response Friday, saying that it was a personnel matter.
Today, Sunday, the AP reported that Parmley had resigned. Shortly after the AP report went live, we received an e-mail with Parmley's letter of resignation and an acceptance from state Party Chairman David Parker.
In his letter, Parmley denies harassing any member of the staff.
"In fact, fighting against actions like these is one of the reasons why I am a Democrat," Parmley wrote. You can click here to read his who letter.
Parker stood by his executive director his letter, which accepted Parmley's resignation.
After consulting legal counsel, and based on my own experience in harassment cases and my own personal philosophy, it became my opinion that there have not been grounds for termination for cause of Jay Parmley.
In this political world of rushing to judgment and the presumption of guilt, however, my legal and personal opinion has been outweighed by this having become a political distraction and issue.
Leadership calls for resisting the expedient tendencies of all too many in our society to throw others under the bus at the first opportunity and whose moral philosophy can be changed as easily as shaking an Etch-a-Sketch.
But leadership also includes recognizing when the goals of an organization are being jeopardized. Such has happened here and Jay Parmley will not sacrifice the mission of our Party in this critically important year.