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.
Gov. Steve Beshear has set a special election for Dec. 10 to replace former Democratic state Rep. John Arnold of Sturgis, who resigned last month after being accused of sexual harassment.
Legislative Research Commission staffers Yolanda Costner and Cassaundra Cooper alleged that Arnold had touched them inappropriately and made vulgar comments. Arnold said in his resignation letter that he had been "destroyed politically" and could no longer be an effective voice for his constituents.
Arnold, a retired chiropractor, had served in the House since 1995.
Two legislative workers have filed a lawsuit accusing former state Rep. John Arnold of sexual harassment.
In a lawsuit filed Tuesday by attorney Thomas Clay, Yolanda Costner and Cassaundra Cooper say Arnold touched them inappropriately and made vulgar comments. Clay had said previously that he intended to file the suit on behalf of the women.
Arnold, who resigned as a lawmaker last month, has denied the allegations. He said in the resignation letter that he had been "destroyed politically" and could no longer be an effective voice for his constituents.
A Louisville attorney on Tuesday called for a criminal investigation into the former head of the Legislative Research Commission who told the Louisville Courier-Journal that he returned to the Capitol on Sunday, two days after he resigned, and shredded documents.
Thomas Clay wants state police or the attorney general's office to open a probe into what kind of documents former LRC Director Bobby Sherman destroyed.
"I'm very suspicious of what was shredded and why," said Clay, representing two legislative staffers who filed sexual harassment complaints that led to the resignation of Democratic state Rep. John Arnold of Sturgis earlier this month. "The circumstances suggest some outside agency should inquire about it."
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.