Womick’s latest complaints against Harwell scrapped

House Ethics Committee Chairman Steve McDaniel has rejected the latest two complaints filed against House Speaker Beth Harwell by Rep. Rick Womick, R-Rockvale, reports The Tennessean.

In a letter to Womick, McDaniel, who also serves as deputy House speaker, said one complaint repeats charges already dismissed and the other wasn’t properly signs.

The complaint scuttled as repetitious involved allegations that Harwell violated House rules and the state constitution during the investigation of former Rep. Jeremey Durham, R-Franklin, and his subsequent ouster last month from his House seat. The other, said to be unsigned, involved reports that House Clerk Joe McCord used abusive language to a legislative staffer and made an obscene gesture two her 2-year-old granddaughter.

McDaniel, R-Parkers Crossroads acted on the advice of Doug Himes, an attorney who is co-director of the legislature’s Office of Legal Services, according to The Tennessean. And Womick is not happy.

“It’s all a cover up,” Womick said Thursday.

Womick took issue with Himes’ assessment of his first complaint, saying it did not reiterate what had been included in the previously dismissed complaint. In terms of the second complaint, Womick said he turned in a signed copy.

“I’ve got in my possession the original signed letter by me and Rep. Mike Stewart,” he said.

Womick said the claim that he didn’t sign the complaint was a “bold face lie” and an effort to “cover up” wrongdoing by Harwell.

“The speaker has given orders to (Doug) Himes and (Steve) McDaniel to not meet until after the election,” Womick said.

… Copies of the complaints held by Rep. Mike Stewart, D-Nashville, show only one of the two complaints was signed.

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