Representative Duane Hall Says He Won’t Resign, Claims That Sexual Misconduct Allegations Stem from a Vendetta | News

Representative Duane Hall Says He Won’t Resign, Claims That Sexual Misconduct Allegations Stem from a Vendetta


Last week, NC Policy Watch published a report claiming that five sources had accused Wake County Representative Duane Hall of sexual misconduct, including one alleged incident of forcible kissing.

Since then, Hall has been mostly silent, save for initial statements denying the charges and a later interview with News & Observer opinion writer Ned Barnett, in which he said that, while he’s a flirt, “I have never harassed anyone. Never. Ever.”

Even so, Governor Roy Cooper, House Minority Leader Darren Jackson, and N.C. Democratic Party chairman Wayne Goodwin have called on Hall to resign from his seat. Hall is effectively in political exile and under pressure to call it a day instead of seeking reelection.

But Hall, it seems, has no intention of doing that. In a statement provided to WUNC’s Jeff Tiberii, Hall says that he will not resign and lays the blame for the NC Policy Watch story on a personal vendetta of sorts—he says he dated Megan Glazier, the daughter of NC Justice Center executive director and former state House member Rick Glazier, and NC Policy Watch began pursuing the story after he ended the relationship.

“Over the years,” he says, “I have dated some friends in the Democratic party including the daughter of the NC Justice Center Executive Director which publishes NC Policy Watch. I terminated the relationship. Policy Watch staff then spent months and much effort aggressively contacting colleagues, associates and acquaintances to manufacture gossip.”


Of course, as the N&O’s Colin Campbell points out, the daily was also pursuing this story, and no one there had ever dated Duane Hall.

Another point of context: the author of the NC Policy Watch story, Billy Ball, previously wrote for the INDY. As his former supervisor, it’s rather difficult for me to imagine him ginning up a story based on his boss’s grudge.

Ball deferred questions to NC Policy Watch director Rob Schofield, who, in an email, promised an interview later today. In a text message, Hall said he was “not inclined” to be interviewed today, but he confirmed that the statement he gave to Tiberii is accurate.

“I’ve had personal relationships with several people at NC Policy Watch,” he wrote. There is no way for me to know what degree that played a role, but it has been confirmed to me by one of them, that it was discussed at length and the father of the girl I broke up with, who is also the Exec Director, edited, proofed and had final say over this story. The main point of my statement is that minimal journalistic integrity demands those relationships should have been disclosed.”

Update: in a statement posted a few minutes ago, Policy Watch director Rob Schofield says he stands by Ball’s reporting:

Unfortunately, over the weekend, Rep. Hall chose to issue a statement in which made the outrageous and completely false allegation that our reporting was somehow motivated by the fact that he once had a personal relationship with Megan Glazier, the daughter of North Carolina Justice Center Executive Director Rick Glazier. Megan Glazier is employed as an executive assistant at the Justice Center, which is the parent organization of NC Policy Watch. (It should be noted that Ms. Glazier’s relationship with Hall pre-dated her employment at the Justice Center, where she began work in 2016, and that nothing in the story relates to her or her relationship with Hall in any way).

Here is the actual truth:

  1. Billy Ball began investigating the issue of sexually inappropriate actions by state lawmakers well over a year ago. Rep. Hall’s name came up early in that process from multiple sources.
  2. Much later in the process of Ball’s reporting, he became aware that Ms. Glazier and Rep. Hall had once had a personal relationship.
  3. In recent weeks, as the story about Rep. Hall came together and Policy Watch moved closer to publishing, Billy Ball raised the issue with me as to whether we should attempt to report on the relationship between Rep. Hall and Ms. Glazier and/or offer some sort of disclosure about it.
  4. When I became aware of this fact, I convened a discussion of senior Policy Watch staffers to review our ethical and moral obligations. Three choices quickly emerged: a) kill the story and thereby deprive the public of information we were convinced was accurate, important and within its right to know, b) attempt to report on the past relationship between Hall and Ms. Glazier as part of the story and thereby broach the topic of a private matter that did not impact the story, or c) report the story in the way it ultimately appeared. After that discussion, it was decided that option “C” was by far the best and most ethical option.
  5. After reaching this conclusion, early last week, I brought the matter to Rick Glazier and, ultimately, discussed it with him and other senior Justice Center staff. This was the first time I had ever discussed Rep. Hall’s name with respect to his personal behavior with anyone outside of the Policy Watch team.
  6. After that discussion (which included inquiries from Rick Glazier to make certain that we were absolutely confident of our sources and the facts that we intended to report), and after Billy Ball received comments from House Minority Leader Darren Jackson and state Democratic Party Chairman Wayne Goodwin calling on Hall to resign, he gave me the authorization to take whatever action I felt was appropriate with respect to publishing.
  7. Last Wednesday afternoon, after final discussions with Policy Watch team members, I did a final proofread of Ball’s story and hit the “publish” button.
  8. After that occurred, I composed and published the blog post referenced above and conveyed the information in it to the other members of the N.C. Justice Center staff.
The bottom line: Neither Billy Ball, nor I nor any member of the Policy Watch team was ever encouraged or discouraged in our pursuit of the story about Rep. Hall by Rick Glazier or any other Justice Center senior staff. While we readily concede that the matter of reporting on an individual who once had a relationship with a colleague poses some potentially challenging issues of journalistic ethics, we strongly believe that in this instance, we made the right call on all fronts.

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