In Frankfort, lawyers for the state are asking a judge not to allow the release of documents that could include information on sexual harassment in Kentucky state government.
Louisville Attorney Thomas Clay represents female state House employees who say in a lawsuit they were sexually harassed by former Kentucky lawmaker John Arnold. They also allege they were retaliated against in a separate matter by current state Rep. Will Coursey.
Clay said that in a hearing Wednesday in Franklin Circuit Court, Judge Thomas Wingate heard a motion to dismiss the suit altogether. The state argues that because the Legislative Research Commission, which is named as a defendant, did not employ Arnold, the suit is moot.
Clay believes the documents detail instances of sexual harassment beyond the Arnold case, and says that the state is dragging its feet.
“That argument is frivolous because there’s ample federal authority that says the employer has a duty to protect employees from harassing conduct even from non-employees of that employer," Clay said.
Wingate did not decide on any of the motions, and has yet to schedule the next hearing date.
The women are seeking damages from Arnold and the state for embarrassment, humiliation, mental anguish and retaliation, as well as attorney’s fees.