A Franklin Circuit Court Judge will decide which parties can be named in a sexual harassment lawsuit against the state and a former Kentucky lawmaker.
Two women have filed suit against former Representative John Arnold, the Legislative Research Commission, and state government. The women claim Arnold sexually harassed them, and the LRC didn't properly address their complaints.
Previously, the civil trial was delayed, as the Attorney General said the LRC and the state are the same and can't both be sued. And there's a question over whether the women are non-partisan LRC employees since they serve the body’s partisan leadership.
Thomas Clay is lead counsel for the women. He thinks they’re technically employees of House Speaker Greg Stumbo, who is also named in the complaint and has asked the court to be removed from the suit.
Another high-ranking Kentucky Republican lawmaker is predicting that there won’t be a government shutdown in January.
In an interview in his Washington office, Somerset Republican Congressman Hal Rogers told the Courier-Journal “if we don’t do something, there will be a shutdown, but we’re going to do everything possible to avoid it.”
Kentucky’s Fifth District Representative joins Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in calling on Congress to make sure there is not a repeat of the shutdown that closed the federal government for 16 days in October. The shutdown ended when a stopgap spending plan was passed that funds the government until January 15.
Congressman Rogers and his Democratic counterpart are asking a special budget conference group to send them overall government spending numbers by Thanksgiving, in order to expedite the process of creating a new spending plan.
Larry Forgy has endorsed Louisville businessman Matt Bevin ahead of next May's primary.
Forgy, a Lexington attorney who was the GOP nominee for Kentucky governor in 1995, announced the endorsement Tuesday. Forgy is a former member of the Republican National Committee and served as Kentucky chairman of Ronald Reagan's presidential campaigns in 1980 and 1984.
Bevin is running as a challenger to Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.
Forgy said he feels that Bevin, not McConnell, is the best answer to the nation's problems. Forgy has been at odds with McConnell for years, and he blasted McConnell in a statement as "the best example of the need for term limits."
The winner of the McConnell-Bevin race will likely face Democratic front-runner Alison Lundergan Grimes in the general election.
The Legislative Research Commission has a $115,000 contract with a Lexington law firm to offer legal guidance in a sexual harassment investigation and to help defend the state in a pending lawsuit.
Lawmakers unveiled and approved the contract with Landrum & Shouse on Tuesday. The contract runs through June 30, 2014.
The firm will advise legislative leaders in a continuing investigation into allegations that former Democratic state Rep. John Arnold of Sturgis sexually harassed three legislative staffers. That committee could ultimately recommend Arnold be reprimanded or fined.
Arnold resigned from the Legislature after the allegations were made public.
The legislative staffers involved later filed a lawsuit claiming their supervisors didn't protect them from sexual harassment even after they reported it.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has bagged an award from the powerful National Rifle Association, giving him bragging rights for his re-election bid next year in a state where hunting is a tradition. The Republican's opponents are defending their own gun-rights stands in the campaign cross-fire.
Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes points to her NRA membership and says she'd welcome McConnell to shoot with her at a gun range.
McConnell didn't respond to a reporter's question Friday asking if he'd take Grimes up on her offer.
Kentucky lawmakers redrew state House and Senate boundaries this summer, but there are questions about who they represent. The Lexington Herald-Leader reports top lawmakers discussed Wednesday what to tell constituents wondering who represents their districts.
The new boundaries created a problem for legislative staff when constituents ask which lawmaker represents them -- the legislator last elected by the constituent or the lawmaker who lives in the constituent's redrawn district.
Legislative staff members say they need to know how they should list lawmakers and their districts on the legislative website and in the 2014 legislative directories.
Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer proposed that the LRC give constituents the names of lawmakers from newly drawn districts. But House Speaker Greg Stumbo said constituents expect their lawmakers to be the ones they elected.
A prominent Kentucky banker mentioned as a potential candidate for governor in 2015 says he's backing someone else. Stanford banker Jess Correll says he's urging former Louisville councilman Hal Heiner to enter the Republican primary.
Correll says the former Louisville mayoral candidate reflects Kentucky's conservative values and would lead the state in a new direction. Heiner said Wednesday he's giving the race "careful consideration" but doesn't have a timetable for deciding whether to run for governor.
Correll's support for Heiner comes the same week Republican Phil Moffett ruled out another run for governor in 2015. Moffett, the runner-up in the 2011 GOP gubernatorial primary, is running for a legislative seat next year. Moffett says state Agriculture Commissioner James Comer would be the front-runner if he enters the GOP primary for governor.
The first hearing in the sexual harassment lawsuit against former state Rep. John Arnold and elements of Kentucky state government revolved Wednesday around determining which parties should be accused.
The hearing resulted in a delay in the trial until later this month
Franklin Circuit Court Judge Thomas Wingate heard a motion to dismiss filed in October by Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway, who argued that the state is "legally indistinguishable" from the Legislative Research Commission, which is also a defendant in the suit brought by female LRC employees who allege Arnold sexually harassed and assaulted them.
In their lawsuit, filed Oct. 1, Yolanda Costner and Cassaundra Cooper named the state and the LRC as defendants.
First District Warren County Magistrate James "Doc" Kaelin announced Wednesday morning that he does not plan on running for another term after his current one ends next year.
The Bowling Green Daily News reports Kaelin is in his 20th year of service in county government. He told the newspaper he's proud of the fiscal court's role in the growth that Warren County has seen during that time and added, "I just feel it's the time."
Wednesday is the first day for candidates to file to run for office in 2014.
Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes has picked up an endorsement from organized labor on the same day the Kentucky senator she wants to unseat is pushing a national right-to-work proposal opposed by unions.
The proposal being co-sponsored by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell would prohibit requiring workers to pay union dues or fees. McConnell and fellow Kentuckian Rand Paul want to attach it to legislation that would bar workplace discrimination against gays.
Grimes said Tuesday the right-to-work amendment is wrong for Kentucky. She said organized labor has lifted millions of people out of poverty and gives workers a bargaining voice. Grimes received the Kentucky AFL-CIO's endorsement Tuesday.
McConnell said his proposal would allow workers to join a union if they want to but would protect them from being forced to join.