Transportation board member resigns after woman’s accusation
WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) — A former North Carolina legislator accused of pulling a woman around his office by her ponytail nearly 15 years ago resigned Friday from the State Board of Transportation.
Republican Danny McComas of Wilmington submitted his resignation letter to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, who had announced his appointment as an at-large member to the board in February. McComas served in the state House for 17 years until 2012, when he became the State Ports Authority chairman.
The governor “believes stepping down was the appropriate thing to do,” Cooper spokesman Ford Porter wrote in an email.
McComas’ three-line letter made no reference to last week’s report by WUNC radio. “It has been an esteemed honor and privilege to serve,” he wrote. A phone message left at the Wilmington shipping company where he is chief executive was not immediately returned.
Marisol Jimenez told the radio station that while a lobbyist in early 2003, McComas moved her around the room by her ponytail after noticing a tattoo on the back of her neck.
“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?’” Jimenez said. Her boss at the time confirmed the incident with WUNC.
McComas denied pulling her hair.
“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 the station. “If that happened, I think she should have called the police right then and there.”
Marisol said she didn’t pursue the issue further, adding it was also unclear to her where or how to report such an incident.