NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – In a last ditch effort to keep the conclusion of an investigation by the Tennessee Attorney General’s office confidential, a Davidson County judge sided with the Attorney General and denied a temporary injunction.
Williamson County-area State Representative Jeremy Durham has been at the center of sexual harassment claim for months. Earlier this year, the Speaker of the House put together a committee and asked the Attorney General’s office to assist in the investigation.
On Friday, after hearing that information could be released Wednesday, Durham’s attorney filed a motion for a temporary injunction to halt the investigation and keep the final report from becoming public information.
Chancellor Russell Perkins heard both sides’ case on Tuesday before making his ruling just before 5 p.m.
“I’m going to avoid the temptation of giving a partial ruling or partial explanation,” Perkins said during the hearing.
In the order, Perkins said Durham’s attorney failed to show the harm in releasing the report. He goes on to add that it is in the public’s interest to know what was discovered.
Durham’s attorney, Bill Harbison, also plead that by using the Attorney General’s office, which is a violation of the Separation of Power doctrine keeping one government branch from gaining more power than the other.
However, the House committee has claimed the Attorney General is only assisting in the investigation.
“The attorney general regularly operates as legal counsel for all of the state agencies and legislature,” said Steve Hart.
Harbison argues the timing of the release will harm Durham especially with the early voting period set to begin on Friday.
“We were told Friday that there was going to be a release of information that happens to coincide with early voting.”
The report is expected to be released to chairman of the Ad Hoc committee on Wednesday. From there, it will be up to the Tennessee House to decide on what to do before moving forward with any other action.
In a statement, Harbison says his office will be considering all legal remedies.
The Tennessee Democratic Party will discuss developments concerning Durham Wednesday