Former Gov. Julian Carroll says he won’t step down from his seat in the Kentucky Senate after allegations that he groped and asked a man for sex.
The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that Carroll said he would not resign despite calls from his fellow Senate Democrats to do so.
The caucus voted to remove him from his leadership position as Senate majority whip over the weekend after Spectrum News first reported on the allegations on Saturday.
In a brief exchange with reporters in the Capitol Annex Cafeteria, Carroll said there would be “absolutely no resignation, no resignation.” He did not answer questions about the allegations.
Carroll, an 86-year-old Democrat, has served in the state Senate since 2004 and was governor of Kentucky from 1974 to 1979.
He denied the allegations, but has not returned calls to comment directly on the issue.
In the Spectrum report, a man alleged that in 2005 Carroll offered to help get him into art school and then groped him and asked for oral sex.
The report also said Kentucky State Police investigated the matter at the time, but prosecutors decided not to pursue the case.
Senate Minority Leader Ray Jones refused to answer questions about Carroll in a phone call on Wednesday, though in the Herald-Leader report said that his caucus can’t force Carroll to resign.
“That’s a decision he can make,” Jones told the newspaper.
Senate President Robert Stivers, a Republican from Manchester, said that Senate leaders are “still examining and reviewing the situation.”
Brad Bowman, spokesman for the Kentucky Democratic Party, declined to say whether or not Carroll should step down from his seat.
“Lawmakers in the Senate Democratic Caucus are the appropriate people to speak to and address Sen. Carroll’s decision not to resign,” Bowman said.
Carroll has had a long career in Kentucky politics. He served five terms in the state House of Representatives for a district surrounding Paducah starting in 1962, eventually being promoted to House Speaker from 1968 to 1970.
After serving as governor, he stayed in Frankfort to practice law.
Carroll left office under a cloud of scandal after a federal investigation into an insurance kickback scheme during his administration and that of his predecessor, Democratic Gov. Wendell Ford.