John Arnold ethics case

Politics
2:49 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Kentucky House Panel Investigating John Arnold Claims Hires Legal Counsel

John Arnold
Credit Jonathan Meador/WFPL News

FRANKFORT — A special state House committee tasked with investigating sexual harassment claims against a former lawmaker has moved to hire legal counsel.

The five-member panel voted unanimously to hire Patrick Hughes, a northern Kentucky attorney with the law firm Dressman Benzinger LaVelle, to advise it as it probes claims that former state Rep. John Arnold sexually harassed and assaulted female state employees. 

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Politics
3:57 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission Finds Probable Cause in John Arnold Sexual Harassment Claims

Kentucky State Capitol
Credit Wikipedia Commons

FRANKFORT — Kentucky’s highest ethics panel has found merit in a trio of sexual harassment complaints filed against a former state lawmaker.

The state Legislative Ethics Commission unanimously found probable cause Tuesday in three formal complaints filed by female Statehouse employees against former Rep. John Arnold, a Democrat from Sturgis in western Kentucky.

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Politics
5:00 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Special Election Set for December to Replace John Arnold in Kentucky General Assembly

John Arnold
Credit Jonathan Meador/WFPL News

FRANKFORT — Gov. Steve Beshear has set a special election for Dec. 10 to replace former Democratic state Rep. John Arnold of Sturgis, who resigned last month after being accused of sexual harassment.

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Politics
5:25 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Kentucky Lawmaker Suggests Seeking LRC Staff Testimony in Sexual Harassment Inquiry

State Capitol
Credit Wikipedia Commons

FRANKFORT — Members of the state House select committee investigating sexual harassment claims against a former lawmaker disagree about the methods and scope of the investigation.

Rep. Robert Benvenuti, a Lexington Republican and former inspector general for the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, suggested that the committee “should issue a letter of invitation to be sent to all members of the LRC informing them of the committee’s purpose and function, inviting them to provide testimony to the committee” either publicly or in private.

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Politics
7:06 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Kentucky Legislative Research Commission Authorizes Audit, Appoints Acting Director

The Kentucky State Capitol Building
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FRANKFORT — Kentucky Legislative Research Commission leaders on Wednesday elected a new acting director and authorized an audit of the nonpartisan state agency's operations in the wake of the LRC’s handling of sexual harassment complaints.

Lawmakers—who make up the LRC's leadership panel—chose Marcia Seiler by a unanimous 15-0 vote to replace Robert Jenkins, who was named as interim director last month after the resignation of his supervisor, Robert Sherman.

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Politics
2:38 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Marcia Seiler Appointed Acting Director of the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission

Marcia Seiler
Credit Legislative Research Commission

Marcia Seiler will lead the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission while the agency's 16-member leadership panel seeks a permanent director.

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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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