Sunday, January 25, 2009

Investigation into Speaker's conduct now moving to Florida and report of two harassment lawsuits

Special to the Williamson Herald
All Media must credit the Herald for this reporting

The investigation into sexual harassment allegations against House Speaker Kent Williams has now shifted to Florida and his employment as a restaurant manager, two highly placed legislative sources tell the Herald.

One media and one non-media organization are pursuing information concerning the Speaker's conduct there, including two legal actions purportedly filed against him by employees.

Williams has denied allegations made privately but publicized by the news media about improper conduct by him toward Rep. Susan Lynn, also a Republican.

But sources tell the Herald that Williams apologized to Lynn in a meeting with Republican leadership two years ago in Rep. Jason Mumpower's office. He promised to correct his conduct, which was all that Lynn wanted.

The allegations were first publicized two years ago when Williams was a little noted representative from east Tennessee. Now, the matter was re-reported by the media last week after Williams ascendancy to House Speaker under a plan pushed by outgoing Democratic Speaker Jimmy Naifeh to retain his power.

Yes, anyone can file a lawsuit or make an allegation. But a pattern of complaints may reveal a pattern of conduct that is undeniable.

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