Official defends decision on harassment of black lawmaker

RUTLAND, Vt. (AP) — The attorney general of Vermont is defending his decision to not prosecute anyone for racial harassment directed at a black former state representative.

Attorney General T.J. Donovan's office had investigated an online harassment campaign against Rep. Kiah Morris, who represented Bennington until she decided not to run again this year. It declined to file charges and cited free speech protections.

The Rutland Herald reports Donovan defended the decision Wednesday at an NAACP forum in Rutland, arguing there was not sufficient evidence to prosecute anyone.

Morris became Vermont's first black female legislator in 2014. She says she endured harassment and threats until her resignation last year.

Donovan demurred when he was asked if there is a continuing investigation into the harassment campaign, saying his office will consider new evidence as it comes.

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Information from: Rutland Herald, http://www.rutlandherald.com/