New House Speaker Kent Williams on Tuesday denied sexually harassing Rep. Susan Lynn, and he said matters involving sexual harassment are "confidential."
Speaker Williams, who had outraged his fellow Republicans by getting elected with the help of 49 Democrats, said, "Right now my focus continues to be on moving this state forward and getting to the business of governing.
"This week, I have brought House Democrats and Republicans together to coordinate bipartisan committee assignments and with these talks our forward momentum is building. I am looking forward to getting on with the people’s business."
According to the Nashville Tennessean, Rep. Williams had two encounters with Rep. Lynn last year, including one on March 27 in which he allegedly told her she was beautiful and said he would give a week's pay to see her naked.
The newspaper said in the second incident just over a week later, he allegedly came up behind her, put his arm tightly around her and embraced her," while telling her, "Have a nice weekend."
Speaker Williams on Tuesday said, "The Sexual Harassment Policy of the Tennessee General Assembly requires that any and all information falling under the parameters of the policy must be held confidential. The policy strictly prohibits the release of any information as upheld by the courts. All matters pertaining to issues involving the Sexual Harassment Policy should be referred to Connie Ridley, director of Legislative Administration. However, I have never sexually harassed anyone nor have I been reprimanded for any such behavior.
"All matters pertaining to issues involving the Sexual Harassment Policy should be referred to Connie Ridley, Director of Legislative Administration. However, I have never sexually harassed anyone nor have I been reprimanded for any such behavior."
Rep. Lynn is married with two children and is a Southern Baptist.
House Speaker Kent Williams