UPDATE: 10/19/22 6:50 P.M.

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4) – Utah Senator Gene Davis has resigned amid allegations of sexual harassment of a former intern and calls to resign by Utah Senate Pres. J. Stuart Adams.

The calls for his resignation stripped Sen. Davis of all committee assignments as part of the continuing fallout from allegations that he sexually harassed an intern earlier this year.

After a closed-door session, the Utah Senate Minority Caucus — where Davis served as a manager — also called for Davis’ resignation, removing him from his caucus roles.

Davis served in the Senate for close to 24 years and has reportedly been in public service for over 36 years.

The state senator’s retirement is effective November 19, 2022, and his attorney has released a statement regarding the decision.

“Senator Davis is very proud of his work on Medicaid Expansion, Education, Economic Development, Criminal Justice Reform, and holding the Republican Caucus accountable during his time in the Utah Legislature. Senator Davis believes his work has and will continue to have a lasting and positive impact and improve the quality of life of all Utahns,” the statement reads.

Though Davis continues to deny any wrongdoing, the recent events have “made it impractical” for him to continue his work in the Senate, according to the statement.

His attorney states that this is not the end of Davis’ commitment to the people of Utah, and that he will “fight for the people of Utah” as a private citizen.

Senator Davis states in his own words, “It has been an honor to serve the great people of the State of Utah. May God bless you all and God bless Utah.”

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ORIGINAL STORY: 10/19/22 2:59 P.M.

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Utah Senate Pres. J. Stuart Adams has officially called for Dist. 13 State Sen. Gene Davis‘s resignation, stripping him of all committee assignments as part of the continuing fallout from allegations that he sexually harassed an intern earlier this year.

“I have removed Sen. Davis from all president-appointed committee assignments and urged him to resign from the Senate,” said Adams in a press release today, Oct. 19. “We strive to create and maintain to have a respectful and professional work environment and are committed to addressing any allegations. I want to reiterate that the Senate does not and will not tolerate workplace harassment, which is why I directed an independent investigation to evaluate the allegations.”

After a closed-door session, the Utah Senate Minority Caucus — where Davis served as a manager — also called for Davis’s resignation. He has been removed from his caucus roles.

“He will no longer serve in his caucus leadership role and has been removed from his caucus-appointed committees, which include the Executive Appropriations Committee and the Legislative Management Committee,” said Minority Leader Sen. Karen Mayne.

Adams said the Senate hired a pair of attorneys to investigate the allegations. After multiple interviews — including those with Davis, the intern, and publicly unidentified sources — investigators considered it was “more likely than not” that Davis violated Senate policies with the intern.

The intern is a student at the University of Utah and served her internship from Jan. 10 to March 4 of this year. She also worked on Davis’ primary election campaign, which he lost in June to Nate Blouin.

According to a memo released by Adams (which ABC4.com has declined to republish, as it names the intern), the investigative law firm Parsons, Behle & Latimer found Davis may have served alcohol to the intern, who was 19.

The memo noted that if he did serve alcohol to an underaged intern, Davis did not break any legislative policy. However, the investigators “believe this behavior reflects negatively on Sen. Davis’s judgment and credibility and may violate Utah’s criminal code.”

The intern alleged the misconduct in an Instagram post in August. She claimed Davis would “put his arm around [her] waist,” “play with [her] toes,” and “constantly invade [her] physical boundaries.” The intern recounted at least four or five times when Davis played with her toes. She also told investigators that Davis showed her inappropriate television shows at his home. She also claimed Davis poured her a shot of tequila, according to the memo.

Davis denied touching the intern’s toes in his testimony to the law firm.

“We find that [the intern’s] account was more credible than Sen. Davis’s,” stated the memo, an opinion it repeated more than once.

The memo also detailed allegations that Davis hand-fed and/or spoon-fed the intern on multiple occasions. Davis denied dining with the intern. An additional source, whose name was redacted from the memo, however, recalled that the intern had cooked a meal for Sen. Davis at his home on one occasion. Again, the memo found Davis’s account to be less credible than the intern’s.

The intern gave investigators three reasons why she did not report her allegations until August.

  • She did not want to influence the Junr election or be accused of “political game-playing.”
  • She felt she could not report Davis’s alleged behavior while an intern because of the “imbalance of power” and because she had fears she would not be believed.
  • She originally felt that Davis’s behavior was “innocent and grandfatherly while it occurred,” but changed her perspective after she reviewed another woman’s social media post about Sen. Davis.

“We find that Mr. Davis’s conduct was, in part, of a sexual nature and that it was subjectively and objectively offensive — that is, [the intern] was offended by it and we believe a reasonable person also would have taken offense to the conduct,” stated the memo.

Davis has served in the Utah Legislature since 1987.