A ‘timeline’ on Durham’s troubles

By the Associated Press
A timeline of state House Majority Whip Jeremy Durham, who has been moved out of the legislative office complex amid an attorney general’s investigation into inappropriate conduct toward women:

— 2003: Arrested by University of Tennessee police for breaking into the home of the new boyfriend of a woman who had broken up with him a week earlier. Durham confessed breaking into the home and taking items including a guitar, compact disks and the license plate of the man’s car. Prosecutors and school officials don’t pursue case.

— 2005: Finishes third in bid for student body president at the University of Tennessee on campus safety platform, but overspending on the flashy campaign leads to the disqualification of 16 party members who had won Senate seats. Durham blames an “accounting error.”

— 2006: Cited for driving on a suspended or revoked driver’s license in Germantown. Records don’t indicate why his license was suspended.

— 2009: Becomes president of the Tennessee Young Republicans, ramping up fundraising efforts for state candidates. Later announces his House bid for a new Williamson County seat before lawmakers approve redistricting maps.

— 2011: Asks a reporter inquiring about his undergraduate arrest whether he “was talking about the right Jeremy Durham,” and later dismisses the events as “college shenanigans.”

— 2012: Gets opponents to agree not to record a candidate forum, but his campaign manager later shops his own recording to reporters. Durham tells The Tennessean he didn’t know his staffer was going to record the session, but then offers the newspaper a copy.

— 2012: Elected to first two-year term.

— 2013: Prosecutors seek charges against Durham for altering the dates on two prescriptions, but the grand jury decides not to indict.

— 2014: Writes character reference for a Shelbyville youth minister who pleaded guilty to a federal child porn possession charge and later to statutory rape of a 16-year-old congregant. In the letter written on legislative letterhead, Durham recounts the second chance he received when officials decided not to pursue legal or disciplinary action for the “grave error in judgment” he made as an undergraduate.

— November 2015: House Speaker Beth Harwell has Legislature’s human resources chief speak to Durham about unspecified behavioral issues.

— December 2015: Calls reporters “lunatics” for writing about his past brushes with the law, the child porn letter and a growing effort to remove Durham from his position as majority whip in the House.

— Jan. 12: Bid to oust Durham from leadership position falls one vote short of two-thirds needed in House Republican Caucus meeting.

— Jan. 24: Durham steps down as majority whip, and later withdraws from House GOP caucus. He then takes a two-week hiatus from the Legislature to seek unspecified medical and pastoral counseling.

— Jan. 28: House Speaker Beth Harwell calls on state Attorney General Herbert Slatery to investigate Durham’s “inappropriate behavior and misconduct.”

— April 7: Attorney general warns that Durham could “pose a continuing risk to unsuspecting women who are employed by or interact with the Legislature.” Speaker Harwell announces that she is effectively quarantining Durham by moving his office outside of the legislative office complex and limiting his access to committee meetings and House floors sessions.