UTAH, Aug. 13, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — The Utah Democratic Party’s Executive Committee has voted to temporarily suspend Sen. Gene Davis from participating in party events at any level following allegations that he sexually harassed a woman who worked with him.
“Following Ms. Weglinski’s statement last week, party leaders and members of the Executive Committee spoke privately with Senator Davis,” says a Utah Democratic Party statement released Saturday.
“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.”
The statement said party officials do not take the step lightly.
“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.”