CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – The sexually explicit videos were posted to Putnam County Republican Delegate Joe Jeffries’ Tik-Tok account earlier this week.
The clips, which are too graphic to describe, have colleagues and the public weighing in. One TikTok reader said “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.”
There are plenty of critics in the legislature.
“I think it shows a serious lack of judgment at best. And for the same Delegate who introduced a bill to ban sex education, for him to post vulgar videos on a social media platform that’s aimed at teenagers, it’s really disgusting,” responded Del. Mike Pushkin, (D) Kanawha.
Late today, House Speaker Roger Hanshaw issued a statement saying quote: “I believe Joe Jeffries is an embarrassment not just to the House of Delegates, but to the entire state.” He then stripped Jeffries of his committee vice-chairmanship.
This is not Joe Jeffries’ first round of trouble. Last April, he burst into a committee meeting, interrupting fellow lawmakers and making graphic and vulgar references to a portion of Governor Jim Justice’s anatomy. The governor demanded an apology, but it never came.
“He got up screaming obscenities like you can’t imagine. Honest to God, in our Capitol. I mean a delegate,” remarked Governor Jim Justice at the time.
Delegate Joe Jeffries is 39 years old, and is serving his second term in the House. He has not responded to our requests for an interview.
Both the West Virginia State Democratic Party and the Putnam County Republican Executive Committee have issued statements condemning the behavior of Delegate Joe Jeffries.
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
UPDATE (12:24 p.m. on Friday, July 9): Del. Jeffries’ TikTok account has now been set to private.
UPDATE (11:51 a.m. on Friday, July 9): The Putnam County Republican Executive Committee sent us the following statement regarding Del. Joe Jeffries’ TikTok video:
The Putnam County Republican Executive Committee has been made aware of a video published to TikTok by West Virginia House of Delegates member Joe Jeffries.
This Committee very strongly condemns the content of the video published by Delegate Jeffries. Content of this nature does not represent the values of the Putnam County Republican Party.
While all American citizens are entitled to their right to freedom of speech, the Putnam County Executive Committee expects our public representitives to conduct themselves with professionalism on all public forums.The Putnam County Republican Executive Committee
PUTNAM COUNTY, WV (WOWK) – A video circulating on social media shows a West Virginia Delegate seemingly giving advice on oral sex.
The explicit clip 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) whose Communications Director 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.