Patrick B. McGuigan
OKLAHOMA CITY -- A City woman who says a high-ranking Democratic operative transmitted HIV to her during a three-year relationship has retained a Mustang attorney to handle communications for her henceforward, CapitolBeatOK has learned.
Responding to an interview requested this morning, Rebecca Burgin instructed her attorney to contact this news organization.
Parmley resigned as executive director of the North Carolina Democratic Party on April 15. His resignation came after controversy had focused on sexual harassment allegations against him by a former party employee, a young man who worked in communications.
Some of the strongest criticisms of Parmley and of the North Carolina party’s handling of the situation had come from within Democratic and progressive circles. The party’s gubernatorial nominee applauded Parmley’s decision to resign and said the state party chairman who defended him and assailed critics should also resign.
Boyle’s story for The Daily Caller (on April 13) said the allegations from the young man in North Carolina were made in December.
Matthew Boyle of The Daily Caller reported yesterday that Burgin said she and Jay Parmley began dating in January 2004, and that their relationship lasted three years. In that time frame, Parmley was both executive director of the Oklahoma Democratic party and a part-time teacher at Oklahoma City Community College.
Burgin and Parmley began dating when she was 20. She took his class in American Government at OCCC.
Parmley was director of the Oklahoma Democratic party from spring 2001 to spring 2005, party officials told CapitolBeatOK this morning.
Michael D. Denton, Burgin’s lawyer, wrote CapitolBeatOK to say he had been retained “to assist her in dealing with this situation. I would be most appreciative if you would direct any future communications intended for Rebecca as they deal with
Jay Parmley and his employer and this situation. Ms. Burgin wants me to field all requests for information, interviews, etc.
“Ms. Burgin is not necessarily interested in discussing this situation further; however, if you have additional questions which were not covered in her interview I would invite you to send them to me via email and I will go over them with her.”
Through Mr. Denton, CapitolBeatOK asked Ms. Burgin these questions:
* Has she considered any legal action or actions against the Oklahoma Democratic Party?
* Has she has considered legal action or actions against Oklahoma City Community College?
* Does she have reason to believe Mr. Parmley behaved in ways that were inappropriate toward other students at OCCC?
CapitolBeatOK also asked Denton to summarize “legal actions against the North Carolina Democratic Party and/or Mr. Parmley.”
Late Tuesday, Denton replied, “I am authorized to tell you that she has retained me solely to advise her, not to pursue legal action against any person or entity. She is not contemplating such legal action.”
In his reports for The Daily Caller, Boyle pointed out that in Oklahoma statutes, Title 21 Section 1192.1 establishes a felony, punishment by up to five years imprisonment, for someone “knowingly engaging in conduct reasonably likely to transfer HIV virus” without a partner’s consent.
Just before 10 a.m. on Tuesday (April 24), CapitolBeatOK submitted to the press office at OCCC a request for information about Parmley’s performance as an educator and his behavior while working there. The school was asked to provide information about his compensation, the length of his time as a teacher, evaluations, student comments or other information.
In response to CapitolBeatOK’s request, Cordell Jordan of OCCC said on Tuesday afternoon, “Jay Parmley was employed as an adjunct professor at OCCC from June 2, 1997 to July 1, 2004. Given the almost 8-year time span since leaving OCCC, it is unknown right now if any additional records are still in possession of OCCC, but OCCC Human Resources is currently going back through old paper records to see if any still exist.”
Jordan said if other records are discovered concerning Parmley’s tenure at OCCC, “I will forward them to you as soon as possible, as you requested.”