John Arnold ethics case

Politics
11:17 am
Tue October 1, 2013

In Lawsuits, Kentucky Statehouse Employees Claim Sexual Harassment, Retaliation

Attorneys filing lawsuit with clients Cassaundra Cooper and Yolanda Costner.
Credit Jonathan Meador/WFPL News

FRANKFORT — In the latest salvo in the sexual misconduct allegations in the Kentucky General Assembly, three Statehouse staffers filed lawsuits Tuesday against two state legislators, claiming sexual harassment and retaliation.

The lawsuits also name the Legislative Research Commission as a defendant. The lawsuit filed against former state Rep. John A. Arnold Jr. also names House Speaker Greg Stumbo, claiming he didn't prioritize an investigation into sexual harassment claims.

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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.

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Politics
11:00 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Second Kentucky State Lawmaker Facing Sexual Harassment Claim

Will Coursey
Credit Legislative Research Commission

A second Kentucky state lawmaker is being publicly accused of sexual harassment.  

Louisville attorney Thomas Clay is representing Nicole Cusic, who claims she was retaliated against when she complained about the behavior of state Rep. Will Coursey, a Democrat from Symsonia in western Kentucky.

“For instance, I believe he was asking one of the interns to go to the Governor’s Ball with him, and there were some other things that involved explicit language, which she thought was inappropriate," Clay says.

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Politics
6:12 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Alison Lundergan Grimes Pressured Over New Sexual Harassment Claims in Kentucky Legislature

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes
Credit Creative Commons

Saying Alison Lundergan Grimes needs to prove her commitment to women, the chair of the Republican Party of Kentucky is challenging the Democratic U.S. Senate candidate to join a call to investigate new sexual harassment allegations in the state legislature.

As The Courier-Journal's Joe Gerth reports, Democratic state Sen. Kathy Stein, D-Lexington, is asking for a probe to examine the decision-making by Democratic House leadership.

At issue is House Speaker Greg Stumbo's office ordering the transfer of a female staffer who complained about the behavior of a Democratic lawmaker.

From The C-J:

Legislative Research Commission employee Nicole Cusic said that after she complained to state Rep. Will Coursey, D-Symsonia, about his behavior in 2012 — she alleges he tried to date interns and made inappropriate statements about another staff member — LRC officials moved her out of a suite of offices where Coursey worked to a temporary desk.

Coursey has denied the allegations, but Stein told the newspaper there is "a bad smell, a noxious smell" in the House and a need to regain the public's trust.

In response, the state GOP is pressuring Grimes—who has continually criticized Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell's voting record on women's issues—to speak up.

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Politics
11:20 am
Wed September 25, 2013

In Kentucky Legislature, Lax Rules Govern Workplace Relationships Despite Long History of Scandal

Kentucky State Capitol
Credit Wikipedia Commons

During the 1990s, the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission’s public image was shaped primarily by the sordid antics of Kent Downey, whose day job there often overlapped with his sideline business promoting golf trips with scantily clad hostesses offering sex for money.

Downey, who was director of House operations prior to being fired in 1996, sometimes drank and caroused at work. He put strippers on the state payroll and adorned his office with pictures of scantily clad women and a small plant with condoms hanging from the branches.

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Politics
2:03 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Ex-Kentucky Legislative Research Commission Director Says He Shredded Documents

Robert Sherman
Credit Legislative Research Commission

FRANKFORT — The former director of the state Legislative Research Commission says he returned to his office over the weekend and shredded paperwork.

Robert Sherman told The Courier-Journal that the documents included "personalized stuff" such as old salary comparisons. He said none of the paperwork involved anything to do with the sexual harassment allegations involving a former lawmaker or any investigations the agency is involved in.

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Breaking
4:21 pm
Fri September 20, 2013

Kentucky Legislative Research Commission Director Bobby Sherman Resigns

Legislative Research Commission

The director of the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission has resigned.

In a letter sent Friday afternoon to House Speaker Greg Stumbo and Senate President Robert Stivers, LRC director Bobby Sherman announced his resignation following the conclusion of an internal probe into allegations that former state Rep. John Arnold, a Democrat from Sturgis, sexually harassed Statehouse employees

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Politics
4:20 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

Kentucky Investigative House Committee Meets on John Arnold Case Despite Limited Options

Greg Stumbo
Credit Rae Hodge/Kentucky Public Radio

The special state House committee  investigating sexual harassment allegations against John Arnold may be limited in the sanctions it can levy, but the panel met for the first time Tuesday and considered its options.  

"We still have a responsibility as a committee to make sure we take in all the information and make sure we move forward and do the correct thing" despite Arnold's resignation, said Rep. Jeff Donohue, D-Louisville, selected as committee chairman by a 3-2 vote split along party lines.

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Politics
2:41 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Kentucky House Committee Investigating Claims Against John Arnold to Meet on Tuesday

John Arnold
Credit Jonathan Meador/WFPL News

A special state House committee tasked with investigating claims of sexual harassment against outgoing Democratic Rep. John Arnold will meet for the first time Tuesday morning in Frankfort.

The five-member investigating committee formed by House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, has been given the job of examining claims made by employees of the Legislative Research Commission whom alleged that Arnold sexually harassed and assaulted them over a period of several years.

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Politics
3:41 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

State Rep. John Arnold Resigns, Denies Sexual Harassment Allegations in Letter

John Arnold
Credit Jonathan Meador/WFPL News

State Rep. John A. Arnold Jr. resigned Friday amid allegations that he'd sexually harassed three Statehouse employees.

Arnold, a Democrat from Sturgis, turned in his resignation letter to Gov. Steve Beshear. 

"I respect his decision to step aside so that our legislators can focus instead on the business of the state," Beshear said in a statement confirming the receipt of Arnold's letter.

Beshear said he'll begin reviewing options for a special session so that people in Arnold's seventh district will have representation during the 2012 legislative session.

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