A Union County lawmaker who resigned last week still faces the possibility of censure from his colleagues if allegations that he sexually harassed legislative staffers are proven.
An investigative committee pressed ahead Tuesday with an investigation into the conduct of former Democratic state Rep. John Arnold of Sturgis who announced his resignation in a letter to Gov. Steve Beshear last week.
Legislative workers Yolanda Costner and Cassaundra Cooper alleged that Arnold had touched them inappropriately and had made vulgar comments. In the letter of resignation, Arnold said he doesn't believe he is guilty of sexual harassment.
An embattled lawmaker who had been accused of sexual harassment by legislative staffers has resigned.
Democratic state Rep. John Arnold of Sturgis submitted a letter of resignation to Gov. Steve Beshear on Friday.
The resignation came just days ahead of the first meeting of a special legislative committee that's investigating the charges against Arnold. The panel was scheduled to meet on Tuesday, and could have ultimately recommended Arnold's censure or expulsion from the Legislature.
Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo will appoint a special committee to investigate sexual harassment complaints against a state lawmaker from Sturgis.
Stumbo filed a petition with the House clerk on Thursday a procedural move that allows the formation of the eight-member investigative committee that could recommend censure or expulsion of Democratic state Rep. John Arnold.
Arnold represents Union County as well as parts of Daviess and Henderson counties.
The move came on the heels of allegations filed this month by three legislative workers who claim that they were sexually harassed by Arnold. Arnold didn’t immediately return a phone call to his legislative office on Thursday.
Stumbo said the allegations against Arnold have become a distraction and that he knows of no other way to deal with the issue.
A legislative redistricting bill has cleared a House committee and is scheduled for a vote on the House floor on Wednesday.
The House State Government Committee voted 25-4 on Tuesday in Frankfort to keep redistricting on the fast track. Legislative leaders are pushing to wrap up redistricting work by Friday. In Kentucky’s legislative process, it takes a minimum of five days to pass a bill.
Lawmakers are working hurriedly to get done quickly because of pending lawsuits. A three-judge panel is closely watching the Legislature’s efforts and is poised to step in if lawmakers fail to resolve the matter in the special session.
Redistricting is undertaken every 10 years to account for population changes recorded by the Census Bureau.
Legislative leaders have approved the calendar for the 2013 session of the Kentucky General Assembly. The constitutionally set start date is Jan. 8, which always is the first Tuesday after the first Monday of the new year.