PUTNAM COUNTY, WV (WOWK) – UPDATE (3:39 p.m. on Friday, July 9): According to the office of the West Virginia House Speaker, Joe Jeffries has been stripped of his committee vice-chairman position. The following statement was released on behalf of West Virginia House Speaker Roger Hanshaw (R-Clay):
Serving in the West Virginia House of Delegates has been the honor of my lifetime, but not everyone has the same respect for this office, our body or their fellow members. When you take the oath, you are serving not just your district, but also the entire state. I have been asked to weigh in on the activities of one of our members, but it is up to each of our constituents to be the ultimate judges of our actions.
I believe Joe Jeffries is an embarrassment not just to the House of Delegates, but to the entire state. He has shown us more than once that he does not respect the office he was elected to serve. I am but one member among 100, and his constituents will have the opportunity at the ballot box in 2022 to decide whether he represents them as they wish.
As presiding officer, the only tool at my disposal to express my disgust with his repeated, reprehensible behavior is to strip him of his committee vice chairman position, which I have done today. Carrying out the will of the people is serious work, and I expect better behavior of our members, even in what they believe is their private time.”STATEMENT FROM WV HOUSE SPEAKER ROGER HANSHAW (R-CLAY)
UPDATE (3:16 p.m. on Friday, July 9): The West Virginia Republican Party released the following statement regarding Del. Jeffries’ explicit TikTok video:
Last night West Virginia Delegate Joe Jeffries posted a public video describing sexually explicit subjects on his personal account on the social media platform Tik Tok.
Simply put, such behavior by any public official is unacceptable.
Through his poor judgement and actions, Delegate Jeffries has brought shame to himself, his office, his constituents, and our Party.
West Virginia Republican Party leadership has reached out directly to Delegate Jeffries and demanded that, at the very least, he publicly apologize for his lewd conduct.WVGOP STATEMENT ON DELEGATE JOE JEFFRIES
A video circulating on social media shows a West Virginia Delegate seemingly giving advice on oral sex.
The explicit clip, which was made private, was posted to Del. Joe Jeffries, (R-Putnam Co.) TikTok account (@wv_viper) earlier this week. The video, which is too graphic to describe, has colleagues and the public weighing in.
We reached out to Del. Mike Pushkin, (D-Kanawha Co.) who said, ”Joe Jeffries conduct on a social media platform geared towards young people is indefensible. His constituents have a right to expect that in public, especially in front of young people, that Delegate Jeffries would behave in a more appropriate manner. I would hope Speaker Hanshaw and other members of the house republican caucus would urge Delegate Jeffries to delete this material and apologize for his lack of judgment.”
We also reached out to House Speaker Roger Hanshaw (R-Clay) who said, “No comment from the Speaker on this right now.”
While most commenters expressed shock and disgust, others showed support for the Putnam County Delegate.
TikTok user @jenfrmthablock said, “This is a personal account and everyone preaching family values it’s a joke. Family men can’t talk about sex? This is the problem with people today.”
In a follow-up TikTok posted Thursday night, Jeffries responded to questions posted, asking “Shouldn’t you act more professional?” “Because you’re an elected official?” Jeffries responded with, “I’m an elected official, but I’m still a real person.”
In February, Jeffries was the lead sponsor of House Bill 2157 proposing to eliminate teachings of sexuality and forbidding displays relating to sexuality in public schools.
We have reached out to Jeffries on multiple platforms, and we have not yet heard back.