sexual harrassment

Ex-LRC Head Confirms He Destroyed Documents

Sep 24, 2013

The former director of Kentucky's Legislative Research Commission says he returned to his office over the weekend and shredded paperwork.

Robert Sherman told The Courier-Journal that the documents included "personalized stuff" such as old salary comparisons. He said none of the paperwork involved anything to do with the sexual harassment allegations involving a former lawmaker or any investigations the agency is involved in.

Sherman's actions have raised concerns among lawmakers, who say he should have gotten permission before destroying the documents and allowed some independent oversight.

Sherman said others, including Deputy LRC Director Robert Jenkins, were present when the documents were shredded.

Jenkins said only extra copies of paperwork that were in Sherman's office were shredded as it was cleaned out. He said all the documents are in other LRC files.

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.

A special legislative committee investigating sexual harassment complaints against a western Kentucky lawmaker will meet for the first time on Sept. 17 at the Capitol Annex in Frankfort.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo announced the meeting on Friday.

Stumbo said the committee is expected to elect a chairman and set up procedures for conducting the investigation into two complaints filed against Democratic state Rep. John Arnold of Sturgis.

Stumbo appointed five lawmakers to the committee last week. The panel could ultimately recommend Arnold's censure or expulsion from the Legislature.

In the complaints, the female legislative workers alleged that Arnold had touched them inappropriately and had made vulgar comments.

Arnold didn't immediately return a phone call to his legislative office Friday.

Committee To Investigate Compaints Against Rep. Arnold

Aug 29, 2013
Jonathan Meador, Kentucky Public Radio

Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo will appoint a special committee to investigate sexual harassment complaints against a state lawmaker from Sturgis.

Stumbo filed a petition with the House clerk on Thursday a procedural move that allows the formation of the eight-member investigative committee that could recommend censure or expulsion of Democratic state Rep. John Arnold. 

Arnold represents Union County as well as parts of Daviess and Henderson counties.

The move came on the heels of allegations filed this month by three legislative workers who claim that they were sexually harassed by Arnold.  Arnold didn’t immediately return a phone call to his legislative office on Thursday.

Stumbo said the allegations against Arnold have become a distraction and that he knows of no other way to deal with the issue.

Pages