GOVERNMENT

Senate President orders investigation after allegations of sexual harassment against Sen. Gene Davis

Aug 5, 2022, 10:26 AM | Updated: 4:46 pm
Gene Davis harassment...
FILE: Sen. Gene Davis, D-Salt Lake City, raises questions about a resolution encouraging a ban of critical race theory concepts in public education during an extraordinary session at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, May 19, 2021.

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Senate President Stuart Adams, R-Layton, has ordered an independent investigation into allegations of sexual harassment directed toward Sen. Gene Davis, D-Salt Lake City.

The allegations against Davis were made by a former intern on Instagram. In their post, the intern recounted instances when the senator “would invade my personal boundaries.”

In their post, the former intern said “they [Utah Democratic Party] care about women when it comes to legislation and when it’s trendy, but not when it’s in their own inner circle.”

Adams issued a statement that read in part: “The entire Senate and I take these comments seriously. After reviewing recommendations from the legislative general counsel and human resource administrator, I have directed an independent investigation be initiated to evaluate these allegations. The Senate condemns and does not tolerate workplace harassment. It has no place in any political, professional, or personal setting.”

Democrats suspend Davis after harassment claims

The Salt Lake County Democratic Party has temporarily suspended Davis. In its statement issued on Friday, the party said Davis was “suspended from participating in Salt Lake County Democratic Party events, committees and any party-related activity due to allegations of an intern.”

The party’s chair, Eva Lopez, says it does not tolerate sexual misconduct of any nature.

“No one should be fearful to participate in our Party, especially to be an intern for a long-standing Senator,” wrote Lopez.

 

House Minority Leader Representative Brian King tells KSL Newsradio and KSL TV, he’s glad to see the serious response. 

“What’s critical is there be some identified process by which these kinds of reports are investigated in a way that’s meaningful,” King said. “In a way that honors the individual making the report. Because this is a hard thing for people to do. And it takes great courage.” 

Davis has served District 3 in Salt Lake City for 23 years. He lost his seat in the 2022 Democratic primary, and his term ends in January of 2023.

KSL NewsRadio has reached out to Davis for comment. By the time of publication, he had not yet responded. 

This is a developing story and will be updated. 

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Senate President orders investigation after allegations of sexual harassment against Sen. Gene Davis