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Tennessee House Speaker says ‘no complaint’ filed against Rep. Faison

From NewsChannel 5 in Nashville: A line in a judge's decision about public records raised questions about whether Rep. Jeremy Faison was the subje

From NewsChannel 5 in Nashville: A line in a judge’s decision about public records raised questions about whether Rep. Jeremy Faison was the subject of a harassment complaint in the Tennessee General Assembly.


House Speaker Cameron Sexton disputed that sentence on Wednesday afternoon.


This issue emerged after suspended Nashville lawyer Brian Manookian sued for the public records associated with a NewsChannel 5 investigation that found former Rep. Scotty Campbell, R-Johnson County was accused of sexually harassing an intern at the legislature. The state ended up spending nearly $9,000 to move the intern out of her apartment and into a downtown hotel for the remainder of her internship. The state also paid to ship her furniture back home.


The same day Campbell was confronted by NewsChannel 5 Investigates he resigned from his seat in the legislature. Follwing that, Manookian filed a lawsuit demanding the state release all records of the investigation as well as how much money the state spent to relocate the intern.


As part of the judge’s order in that case, Chancellor Russell Perkins wrote that some of the records Manookian sought pertained to a complaint against Rep. Faison, R-Cosby. Perkins wrote the complaint was dated April 5 with an alleged victim’s first name containing two pages that pertained to the complaint along with the redacted and non-redacted personnel files of the Tennessee House Republican Caucus Chairman.


“Confidentiality in the workplace discrimination reporting process deters retaliation and inhibits revictimization,” Sexton said in a statement. “Workplace discrimination and harassment will not be tolerated in the House of Representatives. Contrary to the serious inference included in the order, no complaint has been filed against Chairman Faison. If, however, any individual, past or present, believes he or she has been the subject of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation while employed by or visiting the General Assembly, they are encouraged to report such behavior directly to the Director of Legislative Administration or any individual listed in the policy.”


NewsChannel 5 reached out directly to Faison via phone call and text. He said he had nothing further to add.


Perkins dismissed the public records lawsuit with prejudice, meaning Manookian cannot refile the same lawsuit again.


He wrote that the Tennessee Public Records Act for what Manookian wanted wasn’t available because it was confidential and that the House policy on sexual harassment served as an exemption.


“All records pertaining to complaints of sexual harassment, including protective measures used for legislative employees are confidential,” he wrote.