UTAH

Attorney for Sen. Gene Davis says Davis won’t resign from the Utah Senate

Sep 28, 2022, 4:30 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 — Utah State Senator Gene Davis will not resign his seat in the senate according to Davis’ lawyer. The Salt Lake County Democratic Party asked for Davis’ immediate resignation this week in relation to allegations of sexual harassment made against the senator by a former intern.

The Salt Lake County Democratic Party said they conducted a thorough investigation after the allegations were made public earlier this year. This week they said they’d found Davis had violated the party’s anti-harassment policy and asked him to immediately resign.

Davis’ attorney told KSL NewsRadio’s Dave and Dujanovic that the Salt Lake County Democrats violated due process.


 

“There is no fairness that’s happened with the senator,” said Benjamin Grindstaff, “they’ve never spoken to him (Davis). … They’ve never spoken to any of the complainants or anyone and it’s just a violation of his due process.”

Questions about privacy and inclusiveness

Of particular concern to Grindstaff, he said, is whether or not the Salt Lake County Democratic Party undertook their investigation under the parameters of their own policies, namely, those of privacy.

“The chair of the Salt Lake County Democratic Party, Eva Lopez, violated that at the very beginning. She’s the one who has posted things on Twitter.” Grindstaff said that the party’s policies and procedures are very clear, and that a situation like this (investigation into Sen. Davis) is meant to be confidential.

“We have a process in which our affiliates and members can file a complaint, and start investigation protocols,” Eva Lopez told KSL NewsRadio’s KSL@Night on Tuesday.  “It’s a very equitable and just process for both the accused, the accusers, or any other parties involved.”

Contrary to the claim made by Sen. Davis’ attorney, Lopez said that Davis had an opportunity to speak to the committees, and to appeal. “Both parties participate in this process,” Lopez said.


 

Grindstaff said he is also concerned about the makeup of the Salt Lake County Democratic Party committees that investigated the allegations. The party made no effort to assure there was no conflict of interest among the investigating members, he said. And he said that Davis, himself, did not have an opportunity to speak to the committees.

The allegations of sexual harassment were made by a former intern. KSL.com reported that the intern used Instagram to accuse Davis of touching her inappropriately during her internship.

In a statement on Tuesday, Grindstaff said that rather than resign, Davis will continue to serve in his office until his term expires. He lost his seat in a primary race earlier this year to Nate Blouin.

“Senator Davis has done nothing that would warrant his resignation from the Utah State Senate,” the statement read. “Senator Davis will continue to be a fervent voice on Capitol Hill for public education and for the health and economic stability of Utah families.”

An investigation into the allegations ordered by Utah Senate President J. Stuart Adams is ongoing.

Our previous reporting:

 

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Attorney for Sen. Gene Davis says Davis won’t resign from the Utah Senate