Sannie Overly

Kentucky LRC

A Franklin County judge has denied the request of lieutenant governor candidate Sannie Overly to seal her deposition in a legislative sexual harassment case.

The Lexington Herald-Leader said Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate on Wednesday also denied a similar request by former Legislative Research Commission director Bobby Sherman and granted  motions by The Courier-Journal and the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting to intervene.

Louisville lawyer Thomas Clay, who represents two women who brought the harassment case against a former lawmaker, has said he wants to ask Overly about any sexual harassment she might have experienced in the legislature.

Overly is running on a ticket with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jack Conway. Her lawyer, Anita Britton of Lexington, has said if the deposition became public, Overly's words could be taken out of context for political reasons.

Kentucky LRC

The Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting and The Courier-Journal have filed a motion to intervene in an ongoing sexual harassment lawsuit filed against the Legislative Research Commission by two former staffers of the agency.

The media organizations are trying to bring to light depositions of former Legislative Research Commission director Bobby Sherman and state Rep. Sannie Overly, a Paris Democrat.

Overly is scheduled to be deposed on Monday and Sherman was deposed on Wednesday. They have tried to keep the depositions sealed, citing privacy concerns.

Sherman announced his resignation from the LRC in September 2013, following the conclusion of an internal probe into allegations that former state Rep. John Arnold, a Democrat from Sturgis, sexually harassed statehouse employees.

According to documents filed in the lawsuit in Franklin Circuit Court, Arnold also inappropriately touched Overly, who is currently running for lieutenant governor on the ticket headed by current state Attorney General Jack Conway.

State Rep. Sannie Overly is calling for an independent review of the Legislature's policies regarding workplace behavior in the wake of sexual harassment complaints against a western Kentucky lawmaker.

Overly, chairwoman of the House Democratic Caucus, said Wednesday she intends to file a bill next year to mandate the review and create a new personnel system that would ensure a harassment-free workplace.

The move is in response to sexual harassment complaints filed by two legislative staffers against Democratic state Rep. John Arnold of Sturgis.

A special legislative committee has been appointed to investigate those complaints. That committee could ultimately recommend Arnold's censure or expulsion from the Legislature.

State Rep. Sannie Overly has filed a bill that will allow the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to explore public-private partnerships to help construction projects with big price tags.

The bill doesn't specifically name any projects, but Kentucky currently has multiple instances where the bill could help work start, namely the Brent Spence Bridge in Northern Kentucky and Interstate 69 in western Kentucky.

Overly, a Paris Democrat, said the goal is to help the state have one more avenue to help fund its infrastructure projects.

"This bill is not designed for any one particular project, it is really nothing more than an additional tool in the toolbox of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet," she said.

Kentucky LRC

State Rep. Sannie Overly will be the first woman in history elected to a leadership position in the Kentucky House of Representatives.

Overly, of Paris, on Tuesday was elected House Democratic Caucus Chair in private leadership elections today. Overly beat state Rep. Bob Damron, of Nicholasville, for the position; all other House Democratic leaders retained their posts.

“It was a humbling experience to be the person that this caucus would choose for the first time in the commonwealth’s history to serve in House leadership," Overly said. " I’m honored, I’m humbled, I look forward to serving."

Overly has served for more than six years, after originally winning a special election for her seat. She was also transportation budget sub-committee chair in recent budget cycles.

As for why she chose to run now, Overly says she felt the timing was right.