Politics
9:36 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Kentucky State Police to Investigate Document Shredding at Legislative Research Commission

Robert Sherman
Credit Legislative Research Commission

Kentucky State Police has opened an investigation into the shredding of documents by Robert Sherman days after he resigned as director of the Legislative Research Commission.

The investigation will be handled by KSP's special investigations branch, said Sgt. Rick Saint-Blanchard, state police spokesman.

Saint-Blancard declined to comment further on the investigation.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo on Wednesday forwarded to state police a letter from LRC deputy director Robert Jenkins outlining the documents that were destroyed. Stumbo told state police "to take whatever action it deems appropriate." Stumbo's notice to state police followed calls from House Minority Floor Leader Jeff Hoover for the situation to be referred to KSP.

At question are documents shredded by Sherman in his old office the weekend following his resignation from the Legislative Research Commission, a state agency responsible for providing research and staff to legislators. Sherman had led the LRC since 1999, but quit days after the conclusion of an internal inquiry into the sexual harassment allegations against former legislators John Arnold, who resigned from the state House earlier this month.

Sherman's departure also comes amid questions regarding the culture and rules in place in the state Capitol regarding sexual harassment and personal relationships.

(Past coverage of the sexual harassment allegations against Arnold from WFPL and the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting.)

In his memo to Stumbo—the memo then  forwarded to KSP—LRC deputy director Jenkins described the shredded documents as "junk" that Sherman had accumulated over the course of his tenure.

Jenkins described the destroyed documents as:

  • "personal junk mail; his house refinance information"
  • "duplicate copies of memoranda to the Speaker and President that referenced committee appointments"
  • "agreements to meet from the interim joint committees"
  • "approvals for out-of-town meetings, and other routine memoranda that he kept"
  • "salary lists for LRC staff"
  • "salary recommendations that were routinely prepared when he hired new staff"

We'll update this story as more information becomes available.