Former North Carolina State Representative Daniel McComas (R-New Hanover) has resigned from the state Board of Transportation, one week after a former lobbyist accused him of harassment.
“It has been an esteemed honor and privilege to serve,” McComas wrote in a short letter to Governor Roy Cooper on Friday. “Thank you for the opportunity and if I may be of service in the future, please do not hesitate to let me know.”
McComas’ resignation is effective immediately.
The resignation comes a week after McComas was accused of pulling the hair of Marisol Jimenez in January 2003, when he was serving in the state House. Jimenez, then a 26-year-old lobbyist, told WUNC that after entering McComas’ office, he immediately pointed to a tattoo on the back of her neck that was 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.
In a phone conversation with WUNC, McComas denied ever pulling Jimenez's hair and said "that's very much out of character."
McComas was a nine-term member of the North Carolina House. He retired from the Legislature in 2012, and was then appointed by Democratic Governor Bev Perdue to be chairman of the North Carolina Ports Authority. In February, Democratic Governor Roy Cooper appointed him to the state Board of Transportation. McComas owns a shipping business in Wilmington.
In an email Friday afternoon, Cooper’s spokesman said the governor received McComas’ resignation and “believes stepping down was the appropriate thing to do.”