by Bob Geary
[Update: Parker is stepping down as party chairman. He's asked the party staff to call a meeting of the executive council — about 40 folks, he said — to choose a new chair. It will be a.s.a.p., probably on May 12. When they choose, he won't be a candidate, he said. This was at the end of long presentation by Parker about the facts in the case, which supported his view that he followed the law in dealing with an employee who alleged sexual harassment by former executive director Jay Parmley, but who had little or nothing to back up his allegation.The employee, later terminated, got a small severance payoff in return for signing a non-disclosure agreement. Parker wouldn't say how much the employee was paid; he said the severance agreement barred him from doing so.
[Paying the employee anything set the wheels in motion for Parker's inexorable fall. Parker acknowledged that paying him (while Parmley stayed — because there was no cause to push him out, Parker said) wasn't a good political decision.
[But Parker maintained that it was the only decision he could make given the law, the rules governing the party's insurance coverage, and the fact that the party's attorney, John Wallace, was advising that the complaining employee be paid something on his way out the door. "A tempest created by the press in a teapot," Parker called it. But he also recognized that, it's politics, none of the top Democratic officials in the state, from Gov. Bev Perdue on down, had his back on this, and consequently he had to go. So he will.]
This just in —
Raleigh, NC—Media are invited to a press conference with North Carolina Democratic Party Chairman David Parker at 1pm EST in the grand ballroom of the North Carolina Democratic Party Headquarters. Chairman David Parker will make a statement and then take questions from the media.
The grand ballroom? Really? Sounds like a monarch about to be overthrown ...
Can Parker survive all this? He says he's done nothing wrong. But that's not the standard that applies to this job.
He obviously needs to tell his side ("I did nothing wrong") and have an editorial or two commiserate about his fate ("He did nothing wrong. Still, ...").
After that, it's hard to — cliche alert — see a way forward for him.
Anyway, the grand ballroom is a two-minute walk from my house. So here goes.