Lee mum on details of conversation with accused lawmaker

Friday, July 12, 2019, Vol. 43, No. 28

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Lee is remaining mum on details surrounding a recent conversation he had with a Tennessee lawmaker accused of sexual misconduct.

Lee said on Thursday his conversation with Republican Rep. David Byrd was private and declined to confirm whether he had asked Byrd not to seek reelection. However, Lee said he wouldn't run for reelection if he was in Byrd's position.

Byrd texted The Associated Press Wednesday denying Lee attempted to persuade him from running again. He then asked to retract the statement by describing the conversation as "private."

Byrd has been accused by three women of sexual misconduct decades ago when he was a high school teacher and coach but never charged. He hasn't outright denied the allegations but has said he's sorry if he hurt his students.