UTAH

Sen. Gene Davis to retire after sexual harassment investigation

Oct 19, 2022, 5:13 PM | Updated: 6:14 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 — Sen. Gene Davis has announced through an attorney that he will retire on November 19, 2022.

News of Davis’ retirement came just hours after Utah Senate President Stuart Adams (R-Layton) announced that Sen. Davis had been removed from committee assignments, and two months after Adams initiated an independent investigation into claims made by a former intern who said Davis had sexually harassed her.

In a letter provided to media, Davis’ attorney said the Senator denies any wrongdoing.

“Though Senator Davis continues to deny any wrongdoing, recent events have made it impractical for him to continue his work in the Senate,” the letter stated.

“So, in the best interest of his constituency and the people of Utah, Senator Davis has determined to step aside and resign from the Utah State Senate.”

Later in the day on Wednesday, a representative of the Utah Senate tweeted a letter from Davis.


In his announcement on Wednesday, Sen. Adams also said that an independent investigation authorized by Adams found that Davis’ interactions with the intern in question “more likely than not” violated senate policies.

After the investigation, Senate Democrats also called for Davis’ immediate resignation.

“This afternoon, we held a caucus meeting, resulting in our call for his immediate resignation from the Senate,” Senate Democrats said in a statement.

The Senate Democrats include Sen. Karen Mayne, Luz Escamilla, Jani Iwamoto, Kathleen Riebe and Derek Kitchen.

History of the allegations

The allegations against Davis were made by a former intern on Instagram. In their post, which is no longer available, 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.”

 

Our previous reporting:

 

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Sen. Gene Davis to retire after sexual harassment investigation