FRANKFORT — State Sen. Julie Denton, R-Louisville, is expected to appear before the Legislative Ethics Commission in April to explain why she missed four of the last six mandatory ethics training sessions for lawmakers.
In an interview Tuesday, Denton said she had to work at her private job and could not attend the training sessions. But she will attend the sessions in the future if the ethics commission instructs her to do so, she said.
"I thought that if it wasn't convenient to be there, you could just watch the video (of the training session), or now it's the DVD, I guess," Denton said.
"What I've seen when I have gone in the past is members who sign in and then leave and go back upstairs to their offices," Denton said. "Or else they'll stay but they basically read newspapers the whole time and don't pay attention."
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By law, legislators must spend three hours every January in ethics training. The training is part of an ethics law passed after the 1992 Operation BOPTROT investigation exposed 15 current or former legislators who swapped votes for gifts and favors.
At the ethics commission's Tuesday meeting, chairman George Troutman said Denton has failed to attend the session for four of the past six years. Ethics staffers have warned her about her attendance previously, Troutman said.
Denton later requested videos of sessions that she missed and swore in an affidavit that she watched them, Troutman said. That is acceptable for occasional absences, but it's not intended to be routine, he said.
"We go to great effort to bring in speakers and have question-and-answer sessions with them, so you aren't getting the full benefit of this if you're not there," Troutman said. "If every legislator did this, we wouldn't have much of a turnout."