By Jack Brammer
FRANKFORT – Former state Rep. John Arnold asked Franklin Circuit Court Monday to dismiss the Legislative Ethics Commission’s decision that found him guilty of three ethics charges in a sexual harassment case.
Arnold, D-Sturgis, asked the court to set aside the commission’s fine and reprimand against him.
He claimed the commission did not have any jurisdiction over him as a former legislator and had no say over any sexual harassment regulations.
The commission had no immediate comment on Arnold’s lawsuit.
On May 7, the commission found Arnold guilty of three ethics charges in a case brought by three female legislative staffers who said he had inappropriately touched them.
On a vote of 5-1, the commission issued a $1,000 fine and a public reprimand on each charge against Arnold.
His attorney, Steven Downey of Bowling Green, said then that Arnold would appeal the commission’s decision to Franklin Circuit Court.
Downey objected to the commission’s second hearing on the case. In April, the nine-member commission was one vote shy of punishing Arnold for allegedly abusing his position as a public official. The vote then was 4-1.
Commissioner Elmer George of Lebanon voted no, saying he did not think the commission had the authority to punish a former member of the General Assembly. George cast the only no vote at the second hearing.
Arnold, 69, has denied wrongdoing. He resigned from the legislature last September. His attorney said Arnold is suffering from dementia.
Two of the women, Cassaundra Cooper and Yolanda Costner have filed a lawsuit against Arnold in Franklin Circuit Court. The other woman who filed an ethics complaint against Arnold was Gloria Morgan.
Filed Under: KY General Assembly