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VOL. 40 | NO. 37 | Friday, September 9, 2016

3 ethics complaints against Speaker Harwell dismissed

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NASHVILLE (AP) - The House Ethics Committee has dismissed three complaints filed against House Speaker Beth Harwell for her handling of a sexual harassment investigation into former Rep. Jeremy Durham.

Republican state Rep. Rick Womick, who opposed Durham's ouster a day earlier, had filed five complaints against Harwell. He withdrew two of them on Wednesday, and the ethics panel later dismissed the remaining three.

Womick's remaining complaints alleged that it was an ethical violation for Harwell to effectively quarantine Durham from other lawmakers and staff beginning in April; to create a committee to consider allegations against him; and to order the state attorney to investigate.

Democrats on the panel said they also question Harwell's handling of sexual harassment allegations, but said Womick's complaints didn't contain enough evidence to proceed.

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