David Parker, chairman of the Democratic Party in North Carolina, is expected to step down amid allegations that he helped facilitate a plot to cover up claims of sexual harassment by a former staffer who left the party last year.
Parker had previously sounded defiant, but Gov. Bev Perdue (D) on Tuesday capped off a chorus of Democratic voices that have come forward this week to express their concern that Parker's continued leadership is a distraction for the party.
Perdue told Parker that "he had lost the confidence of Democratic leaders, and I asked him to step aside for the good of the party," the Raleigh News & Observer reports. She had earlier faced tough questioning on the matter, but insisted it was an "internal personnel matter" before telling a persistent reporter to "get over it." Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton also spoke in favor of Parker's resignation on Tuesday.
Their comments came shortly after five top Democratic officials, including the secretary of state and state treasurer, released a statement demanding Parker's resignation and claiming that "change needs to be made as we prepare for the general election in November."
The controversy over a former staffer who came forward with sexual harassment allegations escalated Friday, when emails regarding the account were obtained by the News & Observer.
From their report:
The emails included questions from a member of the state's executive committee about a financial settlement and nondisclosure agreement with a former staffer who left the party in November after complaining about being sexually harassed by a senior staff member. The emails did not identify the staffers nor discuss the actions that constituted harassment.
The situation is particularly sensitive for North Carolina Democrats, who will play host to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte this summer.
Read more at the Raleigh News & Observer.