State Rep. Duane Hall quietly resigned his position as chairman of the North Carolina Courts Commission in the weeks after accusations of sexual misconduct surfaced.
Gov. Roy Cooper appointed Rep. Joe John, who like Hall is a Wake County Democrat, as chairman of the commission April 6.
Cooper had called on Hall to resign his legislative seat after multiple people, some of them unnamed, accused him of sexually harassing women in reports by the left-leaning N.C. Policy Watch website.
Hall, 51, admitted to N&O columnist Ned Barnett that he inappropriately kissed a Democratic Party official. But he has repeatedly denied that he ever sexually harassed anyone.
Hall resigned on March 12, in a short letter saying his resignation would be effective immediately. Just five days before Hall's resignation, the NC Insider asked Cooper's spokesman, Ford Porter, whether Cooper would ask for Hall to resign his Courts Commission seat. On March 7, Porter said "The governor has called for him to step down from the legislature and does not believe he should continue to serve on the commission. We are continuing to review all options."
The commission is a group of lawmakers, lawyers, judges and others involved in the judicial system that evaluates changes to the courts. The group is also able to make recommendations to the General Assembly. Most recently it had a role in helping pass juvenile justice reform in 2017.
John is a former Guilford County District Court judge, chief District Court judge and resident Superior Court judge. In the appointment letter, Cooper wrote that John's "leadership will be invaluable in helping to move our state forward."
Another call for resignation
The Young Democrats of North Carolina are formally calling for Hall to resign and drop out of the House District 11 race.
A resolution calling for Hall's resignation was unanimously passed on April 8 during the group's state convention. The College Democrats of North Carolina and the North Carolina Association of Teen Democrats also supported the resolution.
Young Democrats of North Carolina members have been actively calling for Hall to resign since the allegations first surfaced in late February, but had not formally taken action on the matter.
Allison Dahle, a first-time candidate, is challenging Hall in the Democratic primary.
According to the resolution, "multiple people witnessed first-hand and attempted to intervene with Representative Hall harassing a woman at the 2016 Equality NC Gala," that he has "admitted to unwanted sexual conduct," and that Hall's "actions make it impossible for him to do the job he was elected to do representing Democratic values."
And "most importantly," the resolution reads, "(the Young Democrats of North Carolina) should take immediate action to stand with the women of this party, especially with the young women who have bravely come forward to say that Time's Up."
There has been no formal action taken against Hall in the General Assembly.