After days of behind-the-scenes debate and a high-profile sexual harassment controversy, the Louisville Metro Council did not adopt a temporary policy governing claims of such behavior during their regular meeting Thursday night.
In fact, they didn’t have a chance to vote on the measure: The resolution was pulled from the agenda after council president David Yates removed his name as the primary sponsor.
Presently, the council has no policy related to the governing or reporting of harassment of or by council members or staff.
Yates was looking to propose a resolution to adopt for 90 days a section of the Louisville Metro government personnel policy in the wake of sexual abuse allegations involving Democratic Councilman Dan Johnson.
Johnson is accused of groping Democratic Councilwoman Jessica Green during a recent press conference. Council leaders conducted an investigation of those allegations and presented a report to Johnson this week. Johnson declined to provide a copy of the report to media Thursday evening.
Yates’ proposal was dismissed during a Democratic Caucus meeting prior to Thursday’s regular meeting. Some council members expressed the need for a more comprehensive harassment policy, drafted with broad input from the 26-member body.
The meeting grew contentious at times and culminated when Green — who demanded leaders release the report immediately — spoke out.
“I’m sick and tired of this hanging over my head,” she said, coming to tears before walking out of the meeting.
Council leaders have said they would release the report in the coming weeks.
Johnson has issued an apology to Green. But this week, he summoned an attorney to send Green a cease-and-desist order and accused the councilwoman of defamation. Johnson sent a similar letter to The Courier-Journal.
Yates admitted Thursday that his proposal to adopt a portion of the city’s personnel policy was not ideal, but he said it would serve as a placeholder until a more comprehensive measure was developed by council members Green and Angela Leet, a Republican.
Green and Leet have began the process of drafting such legislation, according to a report from The Courier-Journal.
The legislation will be assigned to a regular council committee, where approval will be required before moving to the full council for a final vote.