State documents in an open records lawsuit dealing with the sexual harassment case of former Rep. Scotty Campbell contained notes about an alleged victim complaint filed against House Republican Caucus Chair Jeremy Faison, a court ruling shows.
Davidson County Chancellor Russell Perkins on Tuesday ruled against Nashville resident Brian Manookian in his effort to open records in the Campbell case. But the judge's ruling also revealed an alleged victim complaint was filed against Faison, who is believed to have played a role in the dismissal of Campbell, an East Tennessee Republican, following news reports he sexually harassed a female intern working in the legislature last year.
In his mid-2023 filing, Manookian sought to obtain public records detailing state expenses surrounding the move of the young intern to another apartment away from Campbell's residence. He also asked for documents detailing any sexual harassment or other type of complaints against Faison, a Cosby Republican.
The ruling by Perkins notes that in June, the state delivered a mailing envelope to the court for an in-camera inspection containing documents cataloging an investigation by Connie Ridley, director of Legislative Administration, into the Campbell case, along with media inquiries and a second letter-size file folder dated April 4 "with an alleged victim's first name containing two pages of notes pertaining to a complaint against Representative Faison," in addition to Faison's redacted and non-redacted personnel files.
The order provided no further details about the nature of the complaint against Faison.
On social media, Faison has denied sexually harassing anyone. He did not respond to questions in a text message Wednesday morning, and the House Republican Caucus did not answer questions immediately Wednesday.
Ridley did not respond to a public records request immediately Wednesday.
Gov. Bill Lee authorized the hiring of Nashville law firm Sherrard Roe Voigt Harbison at $375 an hour to handle the challenge filed by Manookian after Ridley's office refused to open records in the case dealing with Campbell, an East Tennessee Republican found to have sexually harassed a 19-year-old intern.
The legislature's policy says no information about the complaint would be released to anyone who isn't directly involved in an investigation, a lawsuit, corrective action or as required by law.
After a House ethics subcommittee determined Campbell violated the legislature's Workplace Discrimination and Harassment Policy, the state spent nearly $8,000 to move the young woman from her apartment near the Cordell Hull Building, where the legislature works, to a downtown hotel and to transport her furniture back home. She was also given nearly $1,000 in cash to cover costs at the apartment she left, according to a NewsChannel5 report.
Campbell resigned abruptly April 20 after NewsChannel5 reported on the case and just two hours after saying he would not step down from his post. House Speaker Cameron Sexton and House Majority Leader William Lamberth said in a news conference that night they didn't tell Campbell to leave. Faison didn't respond at the news conference when House leadership was asked who told Campbell to leave the legislature.
Read more at TennesseeLookout.com.