In a legal opinion issued Tuesday, Attorney General Herbert Slatery says he had authority to investigate Rep. Jeremy Durham because a special House committee requested the probe.
The statement came in response to a series of questions posed by Rep. Rick Womick, R-Rockvale, who recently called the Durham probe a “witch hunt” and part of a “hit list” by House Speaker Beth Harwell, R-Nashville
Among his questions to Slatery, Womick asked “what constitutional, statutory or other authority” exists to allow the attorney general to perform an investigation.
That authority was given to Slatery in February after a special committee approved a resolution that designated the attorney general to “conduct a full, fair and thorough investigation of the allegations of disorderly and inappropriate behavior and misconduct by Representative Durham.”
That point, along with several others, was affirmed by Slatery’s opinion.
…The final question Womick asked was who would investigate the attorney general in the event that it was determined that Slatery had engaged in unethical or inappropriate conduct.
“The committee has full discretion to revoke the authority vested in the office of the attorney general at any time. Thus, if it believed that the attorney general has acted outside the scope of that authority, the committee may revoke the authority,” Slatery said.