Durham says expulsion was unconstitutional, plans to sue Tennessee

Jeremy Durham (Photo: WKRN)
Jeremy Durham (Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – One day after his expulsion from the Tennessee Legislature, former Rep. Jeremy Durham says a lawsuit against the state is likely.

Durham told WKRN Wednesday he is likely to file suit against the State of Tennessee out of principle. He couldn’t elaborate on how much he’s seeking in damages.

Even after he was defeated in a re-election bid in August, Durham was expelled to prevent him from receiving a legislative pension that kicked in at the age of 55.

Durham suspended his campaign after a scathing report from the Tennessee Attorney General said that 22 women were subjected to the Franklin lawmaker’s harassment or inappropriate behavior.

While Durham has admitted to being too flirtatious at times, he insists he never harassed or was inappropriate with anyone during his time in office.

“A lot of the allegations though, if you look at what they’re saying, most of it is like ‘He asked me to get a beer.’ That’s most of the allegations,” said Durham. “If getting a beer is all it takes, then we need to expel a lot of the General Assembly, not just me.”

Durham claims the attorney general’s findings – that he had sex with a woman in his Capitol Hill office – are “completely untrue.”

Related: Tennessee lawmakers oust Rep. Jeremy Durham in 70-2 vote

And he also says his expulsion from the legislature during the special-called session was unconstitutional.

“I think everyone in there who voted realized that they voted on rules, those rules weren’t followed,” Durham said. “I was entitled to a hearing and I didn’t get it. And Speaker Harwell still gets to gavel me out.”

He was removed from office Tuesday in a vote of 70 to 2. Four lawmakers in attendance did not vote.

The last time a member was expelled from the General Assembly was in 1980. Before that, it happened in 1866.

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