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State rep. to be assessed for desk damage

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By Damon Lawrence

State Rep. Julia Hurley doesn’t think carving the initials JCH into her desk is worthy of attention.

“I feel that this desk is not a news story,” she said by email Tuesday.

News organizations and bloggers saw it differently.

“Deskgate” has spawned headlines and blog posts across the country.

And the gesture could hit her in the pocketbook.

“As with any state property, we will take action to have the desk restored, and I’m sure Rep. Hurley will be more than happy to compensate the state to make the repairs,” House Speaker Beth Harwell said.

A spokeswoman for Harwell, a Nashville Republican, said repair estimates are being gathered.

“We actually did not know that it was there,” Tammy Letzler, assistant clerk of the State House, initially said about the mark left by Hurley.

Hurley, R-Lenoir City, said the initials have been etched on her desk since the General Assembly session ended in May.
“I did carve my initials into my desk on the floor the last night of session,” she said. “It was really more of a nostalgic gesture that many of us do.”

Hurley said she’d like to put the incident behind her.

“It’s being fixed,” she said by email Thursday.

“Let’s move on so we can get some work done.”

Hurley, 29, is in her first term as a state representative.

Her district includes Roane County and Lenoir City.