- Associated Press - Thursday, June 9, 2016

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - State election officials say they intend to audit the finances of embattled state Rep. Jeremy Durham.

The state registry of election finance board voted Tuesday to investigate Durham’s campaign finances back to 2004. The move comes after Drew Rawlins, executive director of the state Bureau of Ethics and Campaign finance, told the board that Attorney General Herbert Slatery suggested the move.

“We have a letter from the attorney general’s office alleging that Rep. Durham moved money from his campaign account into his title company account that he has as an attorney. The statute prohibits personal use of campaign funds, so if that took place that would be prohibited by the campaign finance statutes,” Rawlins said after the meeting.

Slatery is already investigating sexual harassment allegations against the lawmaker.

In an email to The Tennessean (https://tnne.ws/1ZAVPb7) Durham denied the allegations and again accused Slatery of conducting an inappropriate investigation.

“I’ve obviously never moved money between my campaign and my title company. I didn’t even possess the power to do that without another company signature. The entire concept doesn’t even make sense considering someone else owned half the company at the time and it wouldn’t be financially beneficial to do that,” Durham said.

Slatery reasserted his authority to investigate Durham in an opinion this month that says a special House committee gave him the authority to conduct the probe.

___

Information from: The Tennessean, https://www.tennessean.com

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