Ex-Girlfriend Of Former North Carolina Dem Official Claims He Gave Her HIV
CHARLOTTE (CBS Charlotte/AP) – The former executive director of the North Carolina Democratic Party who resigned over sexual harassment allegations is embroiled in a new scandal after a former girlfriend claims he gave her HIV.
Rebecca Burgin, 29, told The Daily Caller that Jay Parmley, 41, infected her with the virus when they were dating for three years while he was the chairman for the Oklahoma Democratic Party and also the Mississippi state liaison for the Democratic National Committee.
“He had called my parents and asked them that they call me and have me come over and that I needed to call him,” Burgin told the Caller of the event that transpired in October 2006. “And so I called him, and it was at that point that he told me the doctors had tested him for HIV. And that he was HIV positive. And that I needed to be tested.”
Burgin told The Daily Caller that Parmley’s lawyer offered her health coverage through the Democratic National Committee. She turned it down because she felt it was insurance fraud.
“[A]fter Jay and I broke up, the biggest concern that I had was, ‘what if this happened to somebody else? Would he do this to someone else?’” she told The Daily Caller. “My biggest concern is for anybody else that has had a relationship with him that he did not tell.” She added that she doesn’t know how Parmley contracted the virus.
Parmley resigned from his post on April 15 after allegations came out he sexually harassed a male staffer.
Adriadn Ortega, 26, filed a federal complaint Jan. 31 alleging he was fired despite assurances he would not be terminated after he told officials in the organization that Parmley was harassing him. The News & Observer reports that Parmley showed Ortega a picture of a penis, gave Ortega unwanted shoulder massages and caressed his leg.
Parmley has denied the allegations.
“Let me be clear: I have never harassed any employee at any time at the (state party) or in any other job,” Parmley wrote in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press. Parmley added that the more than 1,000 people who have worked with him over the years “know this kind of behavior would be unconscionable to me.”
Parmley’s departure is the latest setback for a state party that has been coming to terms with Republicans controlling the state House and Senate for the first time in 140 years. Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue surprised many in January by announcing she wouldn’t seek re-election, forcing other Democrats to scramble to mount primary campaigns. Six Democrats are running in the May 8 primary.
Republicans are cautiously optimistic that former Charlotte mayor Pat McCrory, who narrowly lost to Perdue four years ago, will win the Executive Mansion for the GOP for the first time since the 1988 election.
The Democratic National Convention will be held in Charlotte in less than five months.
“I refuse to be a distraction,” Parmley wrote, adding that his presence at the state party would “only distract from the important work of electing Democrats up and down the ticket in 2012 in North Carolina. It is unfortunate that a smear spread by entities hostile to Democrats perpetuated this false story.”
Parmley has not disclosed his health status.
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