‘So no one else gets hurt:’ Utah Democratic Party pushes for Davis suspension

Aug 11, 2022, 4:00 PM | Updated: 5:03 pm

Utah Democrats Gene Davis...

FILE: Senate Minority Caucus Manager Gene Davis, D-Salt Lake City, speaks at a press conference outlining the Democrats’ legislative priorities for the year at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Day 3 of the Utah legislative session, Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022. (Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

(Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — A group of more than 50 members of the Utah Democratic Party wants to force party leaders to vote on whether to suspend Sen. Gene Davis, D-Salt Lake City, from party responsibilities and functions, following sexual harassment allegations made against him.

The woman who spearheaded that group, and chair of Utah County Democrats, Katie Adams-Anderton, said they want to make sure no one else gets hurt.

“I think the pausing of his involvement [in the party] at this time to just ensure that there’s no additional damage done, potentially, is the most vital thing,” she told KSL NewsRadio.

Salt Lake County Democrats have suspended Davis following allegations of sexual harassment from two women. Members of the Utah Democratic Party called for the state party to do the same while they wait for the senate’s internal, independent investigation.

“There’s a lot of smoke here, and we don’t know if there’s a full-on fire yet,” Adams-Anderton said.

Lawyers are looking over the letter, according to the chair of the Utah Democratic Party, Diane Lewis. She told KSL NewsRadio they’re working out logistics, but declined to comment further on Adams-Anderton’s calls.

The meeting is slated for Aug. 23. However, the group wants an emergency meeting to happen sooner.

Utah Democratic Party members: “Unacceptable failure of leadership”

In a letter sent to the party’s executive committee, the party members said they view the party’s actions so far as “an unacceptable failure of leadership.” They said the allegations are well-known. Additionally, they said an investigation into Davis is underway. Yet leaders remain too slow to address the accusations, they claimed.  

The intern who said she experienced sexual misconduct did not file a formal complaint. Members said she feared her allegations would be dismissed.

The intern claimed that caring about women is more of a “trend” for the Democratic Party. That person claimed within their own circle, Democrats do not take the issues seriously.  

The intern’s statements prompted the members’ letter. 

Elizabeth Weiler contributed to this report.

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‘So no one else gets hurt:’ Utah Democratic Party pushes for Davis suspension