John Arnold ethics case

Politics
8:33 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Senate President Pushes Kentucky Legislative Leaders to Meet on John Arnold Investigation

Senate President Robert Stivers (l) and House Speaker Greg Stumbo (r)
Credit Legislative Research Commission

Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, says House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonburg, is declining to meet with leaders in the General Assembly to discuss an investigation of sexual harassment claims made against Democratic state Rep. John Arnold by Statehouse staffers.

In two separate complaints, Legislative Research Commission employees Cassaundra Cooper and Yolanda Costner allege Arnold sexually harassed and assaulted them over a period of three years.

A third female staffer, Gloria Morgan, has also come forward claiming Arnold touched her inappropriately in 2009. All three say their supervisors did not do enough to address the complaints. 

Stivers is calling for a closed door session on Sept. 4 with Senate and House leaders to learn more about the status of an investigation into the issue. Because this is a personnel matter, legislative leaders are required to meet in executive session, which requires three of the four highest-ranking lawmakers to be present.

Stivers says since Arnold's accusers have retained legal counsel, it is necessary for lawmakers to know what investigations have been conducted, and what actions may need to be taken.

"I spoke with [Senate Democratic] Leader [R.J.] Palmer and he agreed that we need to call the LRC into executive session on September 4. I have also spoken with [House Republican] Leader [Jeff] Hoover regarding this course of action and he’s in agreement," Stivers said in a statement to WFPL. "The speaker's office has declined to go into session to apprise us of what investigations are going on and who’s conducting them."

The split on the meeting demonstrates a difference in opinion between Stumbo and Stivers in how the complaints should be handled.

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Politics
7:43 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

State Rep. John Arnold's Accusers File Complaint Against Employer Alleging Race Discrimination

Credit File photo

Two women who filed formal ethics complaints against Kentucky state Rep. John A. Arnold Jr. have also filed complaints with the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights. The complaints allege both Arnold and the women’s employer, the Legislative Research Commission, discriminated against them on the basis of race and gender.

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Local News
3:31 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

Rep. Tom Riner Calls for Rep. John Arnold's Resignation From Kentucky General Assembly

John A. Arnold Jr.
Credit Jonathan Meador/WFPL News

State Rep. Tom Riner is calling for the resignation of his House colleague John A. Arnold Jr., who is facing sexual harassment allegations from three separate Statehouse employees.

Riner told WFPL on Monday that Arnold's resignation would spare the three accusers from the process that follows the complaints they've recently filed in the state Legislative Ethics Commission.

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Politics
5:11 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Bill Requiring Sexual Harassment Training for Kentucky Lawmakers Expected in January

Kathy Stein (left), Joni Jenkins and Katie Stine
Credit Legislative Research Commission

State Rep. Joni Jenkins plans to introduce a formal bill during the next meeting of the Kentucky General Assembly that would make sexual harassment training mandatory for state lawmakers.

But state Sen. Katie Stine is questioning whether such a bill would be a "placebo."

The House on Friday unanimously approved a resolution calling for mandatory sexual harassment training—but it doesn't carry the weight of law.

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Local News
4:59 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Document | Third Ethics Complaint Filed Against State Rep. John A. Arnold Jr.

A third Legislative Research Commission employee, Gloria Morgan, has filed an ethics complaint against state Rep. John A. Arnold Jr., alleging that he touched her inappropriately. Morgan's complaint follows those filed Friday by Cassaundra Cooper and Yolanda Costner.

Here's the story about Morgan's complaint.

You can read the full document below:

Local News
4:48 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Third Woman Accuses Rep. John Arnold of Sexual Harassment, Says State Failed to Act

Credit Jonathan Meador/WFPL News

A third Kentucky Statehouse staff member has filed a complaint with the Legislative Ethics Commission, alleging that state Rep. John Arnold touched her inappropriately in 2009 and that a supervisor at the Legislative Research Commission, where she works, failed to act after she reported Arnold’s conduct.

The complaint filed by Gloria Morgan, 55, with the ethics commission on Thursday afternoon accuses Arnold of walking beside her as she left her office, stroking her back and asking her if she was going to “come out and play” that night.

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Politics
7:00 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Legislative Research Commission Director: Sexual Harassment Allegations Taken Seriously

Robert Sherman
Credit Legislative Research Commission

The director of the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission says sexual harassment claims are taken seriously by his agency, despite an employee's expressed disappointment of how her allegations against a state legislator were handled.

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Politics
10:27 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Kentucky Lawmaker to Propose Sexual Harassment Training After Allegations Against Colleague

Credit File photo

The allegations that a Kentucky state legislator sexually harassed and assaulted two statehouse staffers has led to an effort to impose required training onto lawmakers.

Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, a Democrat from Louisville, plans to introduce a measure in the House on Thursday that would include sexual harassment training in the mandatory ethics education that state legislators are required to undergo.

No such training is currently required, Marzian said.

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Politics
3:56 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Kentucky House Democratic Leaders Knew of Sexual Harassment Claims, Filing Says

A Democratic state lawmaker says some of his colleagues told him to keep quiet allegations of sexual harassment and assault against a fellow legislator to protect the party's majority in upcoming elections

After WFPL News reported the accusations against state Rep. John Arnold, D-Sturgis, early Wednesday, Rep. Tom Riner, D-Louisville, took to the House floor to speak out against what he described as a culture of intimidation and sexism in the legislature.

In separate ethics complaints filed last week, two longtime Frankfort staffers, Cassaundra Cooper and Yolanda Costner, outline a pattern of alleged harassment by Arnold dating back to 2010.

According to both women, they brought these issues to the attention of the Legislative Research Commission and top House Democratic leaders.

In a statement to ethics officials, Cooper alleges that on Feb. 14 Arnold walked up behind her and slapped her buttocks. She said she told House Majority Leader Rocky Adkins and his chief of staff about the incident, but Arnold continued visiting her office and attempted to hug Cooper, the complaint said.

Costner's statement alleges that Arnold grabbed her underwear in March 2010, but that House Majority Whip Rep. John Will Stacy told her "(Arnold) was harmless."

Riner said a third woman is coming forward and that protecting staffers, who have little job security, matters more to him than who controls the state House.

"You cannot put this off until the next election," he said. "You cannot put this off until tomorrow. There are some things that are more important than which party gets in power. And one of those things is how we treat people that we have power over."

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Politics
10:56 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Kentucky Statehouse Staffers Accuse Rep. John Arnold of Sexual Harassment, Assault

State Rep. John A. Arnold Jr.
Credit Jonathan Meador/WFPL News

Two longtime Kentucky statehouse employees have filed ethics complaints against Democratic state Rep. John A. Arnold Jr., alleging a pattern of sexual assault and harassment dating back to early 2010.

Cassaundra Cooper and Yolanda Costner, in separate complaints, allege Arnold inappropriately touched them and made lewd and vulgar comments in numerous incidents over several years. Arnold  is a veteran legislator from Sturgis.

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