Tenn. House Republicans take up alleged ‘behavior issue’ of majority whip

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(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Republican super majority of the Tennessee House goes into “uncharted waters” Tuesday, according to its caucus chair, to deal with alleged behavior problems of one of its leaders.

The 73 House Republicans will be formally asked if they “want to reconsider their actions” last year that made Rep. Jeremy Durham of Williamson County the majority whip.

The lawmaker has come under scrutiny after House Speaker Beth Harwell this past fall asked the director of legislative administration Connie Ridley to speak to Rep. Durham about about what she told News 2 was “non-specific behavior issues.”

It followed earlier revelations that Durham had written a letter to a federal judge urging leniency for a former youth pastor convicted of possession of child pornography.

He was also the subject of a drug task force investigation regarding prescription drug fraud, but was not indicted following the investigation.

Ridley said she met with Rep. Durham “around November 1st” and told him that along with the Speaker’s request she had “gotten a lot of feedback about his behavior”

Ridley told News 2 that she told the lawmaker that if his “behavior not addressed, it could be a problem for both him and the Legislature,” but she indicated they “did not talk about specific behavior.”

The House Republicans plan to vote on whether or not to open their caucus session when they determine Durham’s leadership future.

A two-thirds vote is required to remove the lawmaker according to House Republican Caucus Chair Glen Casada.

He indicated that Durham has told him “he feels like rumors and that things that happened several years ago is not a reason to resign his Whip spot.”

Durham told News 2 he will comment on the matter after Tuesday’s vote.

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