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Stumbo defends his handling of ethics case

April 13, 2014 

Greg Stumbo is speaker of the Kentucky House.

  • At issue: April 10 Herald-Leader editorial, "No justice in how ethics case handled; panel ignores staff on harassment findings"

It has been my policy not to speak publicly about the sexual-harassment case pending against a former legislator for several reasons, not the least of which is because it is an ongoing case which is being handled by the appropriate venues, and I am focused on the 2014 legislative session.

However, in light of the fact that some people have maliciously accused me of hampering the process, I felt compelled to respond.

To set the record straight, in no way did I attempt to intervene with any member of the Legislative Ethics Commission, nor did I have anything to do with the scheduling of the meeting or asking members not to attend. Not only is it illegal, but it would have been of no benefit for me to do so.

Further, I guess it bears repeating for those not paying attention; though any other member of the House could have done so, I am the member who petitioned for the representative to be removed from the House and I have had no contact with that member since he left.

Let me make this very clear to those who would falsely say otherwise: From the instant I was made aware of the situation, my office and I personally have done everything according to the letter of the law. I take this situation very seriously, and I think my record on defending Kentucky's women both as a legislator and as attorney general should speak for itself.

The legislation I have sponsored or voted for during my years of service protecting Kentucky's women from sexual assault and domestic violence would probably fill a full newspaper page. I have two daughters and two granddaughters myself, and this issue is of utmost importance to me both personally and professionally.

What's ironic and frankly frustrating is that some of the people involved with this situation have allowed themselves to become pawns of the Washington Republicans who have repeatedly voted "No" on the Violence Against Women Act, pay equity and almost any other issue protecting the rights of women.

They are seemingly the very definition of misogynists — all in an effort to use this situation for political gain.

No matter how many blatantly slanderous or libelous statements are hurled my way, I remain dedicated to protecting Kentucky's women to the best of my ability. That will never change.

After all these years, it would be a refreshing change to see people actually publish information — especially information that is both personally and professionally damaging — based on facts, not conjecture or wishful thinking. Perhaps that is wishful thinking on my part.

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