5:22 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

Speaker: Kentucky House May Still Investigate John Arnold Sexual Harassment Allegations

John Arnold
Credit Jonathan Meador/WFPL News

FRANKFORT—The Kentucky House may take up further investigation into allegations of sexual harassment in the Statehouse.

Late last year, a committee looking into allegations against former Representative John Arnold disbanded without launching a formal investigation. House Speaker Greg Stumbo told reporters Friday that he received a letter from the chair of that panel.

 He says that if he were in charge, the outcome would have been different. “I took the position, because I think it’s legally correct, that I couldn’t interfere with the committee’s investigation," Stumbo says. "It was an independent investigation, and I had filed the petition. It was up to the committee. I can tell you that, as a former prosecutor, if I had been in charge of that committee, I think it would’ve probably gone in a different direction.” Stumbo says it will be up to House members to decide if they want to form a new investigative committee, or to regroup the old one. And the committee may resume its work this year, if the House think that's necessary.

“I think that the House will ultimately have to decide what happens, whether that letter is considered a report, whether that report is adopted or not, and whether a new committee is to be appointed or the old committee is to go back and finish its work," Stumbo says.

(Related: Past coverage of the John Arnold allegations from WFPL and the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting.)

The committee met five times last year without investigating the issue.

Arnold has denied the allegations that he sexually harassed Statehouse employees.