Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell expects the freshman representative who carved her initials into a legislative desk to pay for the repairs.
“In the excitement of being a freshman at the end of session, Representative (Julia) Hurley etched her initials into her desk,” the speaker said in an emailed statement to TNReport. “As with any state property, we will take action to have the desk restored, and I’m sure Representative Hurley will be more than happy to compensate the state to make the repairs.”
Hurley, a first-year lawmaker from Lenoir City, admitted to the Knoxville News Sentinel this week she scratched her initials “J C H” into her desk that sits on the chamber floor of the House of Representatives.
She blamed the minor vandalism on fatigue shortly before the Legislature adjourned for the year.
“It was like 1 in the morning on the last day of the session,” Hurley said of that late-night session in May. “I wasn’t thinking straight.”
Hurley’s desk wasn’t the only one scratched up. A story from WSMV Channel 4 in Nashville pointed to letters and symbols like a dollar sign carved into other lawmakers’ wooden desks, but the speaker did not comment on who should pay for repairs to additional desks.
Attempts to reach Hurley were unsuccessful.