Someone sent an email to the colleagues of one of the 22 women included in the Tennessee attorney general’s investigation into embattled Rep. Jeremy Durham, identifying her and advocating for her to lose her job because of her behavior as described in the report, according to The Tennessean.
Even though the attorney general knows about the reported harassing behavior, the office says there’s nothing he can do.
“It’s frustrating, but I understand the AG doesn’t have jurisdiction here,” said House Republican Caucus Chairman Glen Casada, R-Franklin.
“She has no recourse but to go to the district attorney and get relief. That’s her only option.”
The Tennessean obtained a copy of the email, which is one of several harassing messages. On Thursday Casada confirmed that the woman contacted him about receiving the harassing messages. Two packages with harassing materials also were sent, Casada said, including one mailed to her family.
Casada and other sources told The Tennessean that the messages did not come from Durham. There was information in the packages that seemed to indicate the identity of the sender, but Casada said an investigation would be able to confirm who sent the messages.
Casada told House Speaker Beth Harwell about the messages. Harwell’s spokeswoman said the speaker told the attorney general about the reported harassment and the AG was “looking at the appropriate course of action.”
Friday morning, Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery’s spokesman, Harlow Sumerford, said the AG knows about the report of harassing messages. He also said the office thinks the case could “fall under the jurisdiction” of local law enforcement.
But Sumerford said the attorney general hasn’t referred the case to the appropriate district attorney, and the attorney general doesn’t have the authority to investigate the case.
“We are aware of one witness who has reported to have received harassing messages. We have looked at whether we have authority to investigate these allegations and in these circumstances, we do not,” Sumerford said.
“These matters fall under the jurisdiction of the appropriate district attorney’s office.”