Embattled Anderson County Circuit Court Clerk William Jones appeared this morning on “Ask Your Neighbor” to give his first, non-written, public statement on the sexual harassment allegations that have been made against him by at least seven women.
Against the advice of his attorney, Jones called in to the program and read a prepared statement.
Assistant Anderson County District Attorney Ryan Spitzer also called the show–not in his official capacity, but rather as the husband of one of Jones’ accusers–to respond to Jones’ statement. Spitzer said that “this has nothing to do with Rex [Lynch, Jones’ opponent in the May 1st primary). This has got to do with William Jones saying inappropriate things to those women that work for him, and he doesn’t have the decency to resign?”
Jones is being challenged in the Republican primary for Circuit Court Clerk by former County Mayor Rex Lynch, who was forced to resign that office in 2011 after being indicted on sales tax fraud charges.
Two more women, as we reported last week, were emboldened by the ongoing media coverage of the scandal and have come forward with more allegations against Jones. We are awaiting the completion of the Human Resources Department’s investigation and once that information becomes available, we will pass it along to you.
The following is a transcript of his statement:
“Over the past couple weeks, allegations were raised of sexual harassment and a hostile work environment set forth by my office.
First and foremost, I would like to say thank you for all the support myself and my wife have received from this community who can see this political attack for what it is.
I would like to deliver this statement today to put an end to these false allegations.
We are witnessing a well-orchestrated attack in an attempt at a character assassination from my opponent’s campaign and the people behind him. In early September, a rumor had made its way to me that my opponent was telling of what was to come. That something big was going to come out about me in his attempt to challenge me.
After my opponent announcing his campaign in early September, a process began with women being interviewed by Russell Bearden who resigned from his office shortly after the allegations.
It is peculiar that the timing that these allegations have been released 60 days outside of an election. I am ashamed that there are those in our community, our home, that would stoop to such low levels.
We have seen this for far too long in our community.
It is time it stops. I tell you today and those behind these political attacks that I am here to stay.
The good old boy system that Anderson County has been ran and strangled by for far too long is coming to an end.
In year one of taking my office, we saved the taxpayers $100,000 and have continued, and will continue to find savings within the office to protect your hard-earned money. We have done good work.
I ask you, the people of Anderson County, to see this blatant attempt to hurt my family for what it is. I ask that you stand by my wife and I as we say enough is enough.
Together, we will not back down. Together, we will continue to work to earn your vote. My office will continue to work to save your tax dollars, and I will continue to fight the system that has strangled Anderson County for so long.”