The Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission has found probable cause that former Union County Representative John Arnold violated ethics rules three times when he allegedly harassed three female staff members.
Commission members met behind closed doors for nearly two hours Tuesday before returning to an open session and voting unanimously on sexual harassment complaints made against Arnold by legislative staffers Yolanda Costner, Cassaundra Cooper, and Gloria Morgan. The Courier-Journal reports the commission has scheduled a full hearing on the complaints for December 12.
Arnold, a Democrat from Sturgis, served in the state House from 1995 until last month, when he resigned after the sexual harassment allegations against him were made public. Arnold has denied the charges, but said he couldn’t move forward politically due to the damage done to his reputation.
The Legislative Ethics Commission said there was probable cause to believe Arnold had “inappropriate and unwanted physical contact” with the women.
Arnold’s attorney, Steve Downey of Bowling Green, didn’t comment after the commission returned its findings.
The Legislative Ethics Commission has found probable cause to believe former Democratic state Rep. John Arnold of Sturgis may have sexually harassed legislative staffers.
The panel on Tuesday scheduled a hearing for December 12 to determine if Arnold should be reprimanded or fined. Arnold resigned from the Legislature last month after the allegations were made against him.
Legislative Research Commission staffers Yolanda Costner and Cassaundra Cooper alleged that Arnold had touched them inappropriately and made vulgar comments. Both women said Tuesday they were pleased with the ethics commission's decision to move ahead with the case.
Arnold said in his letter of resignation that he had been "destroyed politically" and could no longer be an effective voice for his constituents. A retired chiropractor, he had served in the House since 1995.
Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes has raised more money than Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell since July, banking $2.5 million as of Sept. 30.
Grimes political adviser Jonathan Hurst said Tuesday the campaign received more than 13,300 individual contributions, showing what he described as widespread grassroots support.
McConnell reported last week that he had raised nearly $2.3 million since July, pushing his overall fundraising total to $17.7 million for the election cycle. Campaign manager Jesse Benton said that was McConnell's strongest quarter yet.
McConnell, who had a long head start in raising money for his re-election, has nearly $10 million cash on hand. Hurst said Grimes has about $2 million cash on hand.
McConnell, already Kentucky's longest serving U.S. senator, is seeking re-election to a sixth term next year.
The Kentucky Personnel Board has finished its review of hiring practices within the Kentucky Department of Agriculture during the terms of Commissioner Richie Farmer.
Board members found that Jennifer Ledford had been improperly demoted from her past job as a special assistant to Farmer and ordered Friday that she be reinstated to that position or a similar one with back pay. They also ordered that Roger Estill be removed from his position as an administrative branch manager to a job as an internal policy analyst.
Farmer, a former University of Kentucky basketball star, got into legal trouble for his management of the agency. He pleaded guilty last month in a government corruption case that could send him to prison for two years.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has banked nearly $2.3 million since July, pushing his overall fundraising total to $17.7 million for the election cycle. Campaign manager Jesse Benton said Friday the numbers reflect McConnell's strongest quarter to date for fundraising.
McConnell is facing challenges from Democratic front-runner Alison Lundergan Grimes. He also has a primary opponent, Louisville businessman Matt Bevin. Neither of the two have yet released their fundraising totals.
McConnell's campaign said that he received donations from about 6,000 donors. Benton said the McConnell campaign will report nearly $10 million cash on hand.
McConnell is seeking re-election next year to a sixth term.