Rep. Allred plans to quit Monday
Posted May 28, 2009
Updated May 29, 2009
RALEIGH, N.C. — A state House member accused by colleagues of embracing a teenage female page inappropriately said Friday he would leave the General Assembly next week.
Rep. Cary Allred, R-Alamance, said he will step down from the House seat he's held since 1995 on Monday afternoon. On Thursday, he said he would resign by Sept. 1, after this year's legislative session was over.
"I'm sick of the legislature," he told WRAL News. "I'm sick of false accusations and being convicted in the press."
The Legislative Ethics Committee last week received a report from the House sergeant-at-arms that collected accounts about Allred's actions in the House chamber April 27. The report, asked for by House Speaker Joe Hackney, made no recommendations on Allred's fate.
It's unclear what, if anything, the committee has done with the report because much of the panel's preliminary work is confidential.
In the report, several House members wrote they were uneasy when they say they saw Allred at the back of the House floor as he gave a page a lengthy hug and kissed her.
Allred said the 17-year-old page was a longtime friend of his family and that he kissed her on the cheek. The page and her parents said in the report they didn't want to file a complaint and were OK with what happened.
"I've done nothing illegal or unethical in my mind," he said.
Two other Republicans wrote Allred appeared to have been drinking or smelled of alcohol and was particularly agitated during a back-and-forth with Hackney during earlier floor debate that evening.
Allred acknowledged he had one drink before driving to Raleigh and was stopped for speeding before that evening's House floor meeting.
Allred said last week he was going to leave the state Republican Party because he felt betrayed by fellow Republicans who participated in the report. He changed his mind the next day.
If Allred resigns, Alamance County Republicans would choose a replacement to serve out the remainder of his term. Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue is required to appoint their choice.
Allred said his immediate plans after stepping down include taking a vacation, noting he hasn’t had a vacation in 20 years.