Top House Democrat Claims No Direct Knowledge Of Sexual Misconduct

Aug 21, 2013

The leader of the Kentucky House says he doesn’t have the power to discipline any lawmaker who serves in his chamber.  House Speaker Greg Stumbo also says he has no direct knowledge of complaints filed by two statehouse staffers against against Sturgis Representative John Arnold.  The two women, Cassaundra Cooper and Yolanda Costner accuse Arnold of a pattern of sexual assault and harassment dating back to 2010.  Stumbo says his office was contacted by LRC director Bobby Sherman.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo.
Credit Lexington Herald Leader

“There are rumors.    I was never made aware, I’ve never been advised directly.  I know that director Sherman at one point had contacted us, he does other occasions when these matters have been filed with him.  We direct him to follow his protocol and to protect the employees,” said Stumbo.

The women also say their bosses with the Legislative Research Commission and top Democrats were alerted.   Stumbo says he cannot ask Arnold to resign.

“I have no power to do that, nor do I have any power nor does anyone have any power to discipline a legislator.  That’s up to the Legislative Ethics Commission,” added Stumbo.

Arnold says he’s been advised not to comment on the complaints.