Sen. Gene Davis suspended by Utah Democratic Party after accusations of sexual harassment

Aug 13, 2022, 4:02 PM | Updated: 4:03 pm

Sen. Gene Davis...

FILE: Sen. Gene Davis, D-Salt Lake City, speaks in on March 3, 2022. (Mengshin Lin /Deseret News)

(Mengshin Lin /Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Democratic Party has suspended Sen. Gene Davis, D-Salt Lake City, after allegations of sexual harassment against him. This comes after a vote was taken Friday night.

This comes just days after more than 50 members of the Utah Democratic Party pushed for his suspension, and nearly a week after Utah Senate President Stuart Adams, R-Layton, ordered an independent investigation into the allegations.

The Salt Lake County Democratic Party had already suspended the outgoing senator from its activities.

The allegations against Davis were made by a former intern on Instagram back near the beginning of August. 

Here’s the full statement from the Utah Democratic Party about its decision to suspend Davis.

“Following Ms Weglinski’s statement last week, party leaders and members of the Executive Committee spoke privately with Senator Davis. Though he denied specifics of the allegations in his interview with the Salt Lake Tribune, we believe the behavior he acknowledged, regardless of context or intent, was unacceptable. We requested he voluntarily step down.

In light of Senator Davis thus far failing to resign, we have a duty act. More than 50 party leaders, elected officials, candidates, and staff made clear in their open letter earlier this week that conduct like this is not something the Utah Democratic Party is willing to tolerate. Though our ability to take action is limited absent an official complaint, we nevertheless have an obligation to keep our members safe.

The Utah Democratic Party Executive Committee voted today to extend the Salt Lake County Democratic Party’s temporary suspension of Senator Davis to now include all party events at any level, pending the outcome of the Utah State Senate’s independent investigation. We are also formally requesting the Senate make the results of their investigation available to us, once complete, for further review and action.

This is not a step we take lightly. Members of the Executive Committee have spent the week following Ms Weglinski’s public statement debating the appropriate course of action. We’ve tried to balance our belief that everyone should be presumed innocent until proven guilty, our commitment to the deliberative steps and due process our governing documents require, and our obligation to ensure that every member of our party – at every level – is treated with the respect and dignity they are entitled in a space that is free from harassment or discrimination.

Ultimately, we find ourselves faced with multiple credible allegations of misconduct by Senator Davis and must err in favor of the safety and well-being of our members.

The Party is committed to our policy of periodically reviewing our Anti-Harassment procedures and working with members to improve how we respond to sensitive allegations. We are also reviewing the trainings we offer to party and campaign staff and volunteers to include appropriate conduct and steps expected when or if they receive such a complaint.”

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Sen. Gene Davis suspended by Utah Democratic Party after accusations of sexual harassment