Democratic NC lawmaker accused of harassment won’t resign

Rep. Duane Hall of Raleigh

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Calls for the resignation of a Democratic state lawmaker accused of making unwanted sexual advances are coming from both sides of the aisle and from Gov. Roy Cooper.

Rep. Duane Hall of Raleigh sent a statement over the weekend to WUNC radio saying he’ll defend his reputation and accused “a tiny far-left element” in the Democratic Party of seeking to finish him off.

NC Policy Watch’s report last week identified a Democratic campaign aide saying Hall made inappropriate sexual remarks to her. The report also quoted witnesses saying he kissed two women without their consent at public events.

Sen. Dan Blue (D-Wake) says the harassment policy for lawmakers and staff needs updated.

“I think we need a firm policy clearly relating to sexual harassment and it needs to be transparent.”

It is not entirely clear if the alleged harassment claims against Hall would be covered under the current lawmakers and staff harassment policy.

Complaints against lawmakers and staff are handled in the House by the Speaker of the House and the Senate Pro Tem in the upper chamber.

“I think there needs to be very clear lines we need to define it using twenty first century standards not 18th and 19th century standards,” Blue said.

Asked how far behind the times, Blue said, “Well, if I had to take a guess, I would say we are a half century behind were we ought to be.”

Hall has not made any public comments on the allegations.

Rep. Darren Jackson (D-Wake) says he has not doubts in the allegations.

“I state for the record that i believe the women and I believe the complaints,” Jackson said.

If the allegations against Hall had occurred in the State House, the policy would cover those complaints.

Blue is asking for a broader policy for lawmakers.

“It should be a higher standard quite frankly there is no formal policy that says we are held to a higher standard,” he said,

Hall faces at two Democrat challengers in the May primary.