Lee mum on details of conversation with accused lawmaker


In this Feb. 28, 2018 file photo, Rep. David Byrd speaks about a bill he is sponsoring that will allow school employees to carry guns at the Cordell Hull Building in Nashville, Tenn. News outlets reported that three women had accused the Republican of sexual misconduct when he was their high school basketball coach several decades ago. Two women alleged Byrd inappropriately touched them. The third said Byrd tried to. Byrd has not outright denied the allegations, but has said he’s truly sorry if he hurt or emotionally upset any of his students. He did not step down; in fact, he was reelected. (George Walker IV/The Tennessean via AP, File)/The Tennessean via AP)

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — 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.

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