Prominent North Carolina Republican Danny McComas on Friday submitted his resignation from the state Board of Transportation, the News Observer reports.
McComas resignation came after WUNC public radio reported that McComas, then a state legislator, pulled a lobbyist around his office by a ponytail in 2003.
Marisol Jimenez was a 26-year-old lobbyist in her first week at the General Assembly when she says McComas noticed a tattoo on the back of her neck that was partially exposed by a ponytail.
“He notices it, he remarks on it, and then he proceeds to take me by the ponytail and pull me around his office, from legislative staffer’s desk, to legislative staffer’s desk saying… ‘Can you believe what she has on her neck’?” she said.
Jimenez claims she tried to downplay the incident, which lasted twenty to thirty seconds.
“But he was for sure dragging me around his office by my ponytail,” she said.
The incident was confirmed by Andrea Bazan, who was Jimenez’s boss at the time and was present at the meeting.
“That sounds to me like it would be something terrible. I don’t recall it, and I don’t remember the lady either,” McComas told WUNC. “If that happened, I think she should have called the police right then and there.”
Jimenez said the hair-pulling was the worst incident in a pattern of uncomfortable interactions.
“What I found was a group of men who were sort of unashamed in flexing their power with me, and crossing boundaries with me, and putting me into situations that were hostile and sometimes even threatening,” Jimenez said.
McComas served nine terms in the House, followed by chairing the North Carolina Ports Authority.
“I certainly don’t recall dragging her around by the ponytail,” McComas claimed.