Politics & Government

Special committee meeting date set on harassment allegations against Ky. lawmaker

Former state Rep. John A. Arnold Jr., D-Sturgis.
Former state Rep. John A. Arnold Jr., D-Sturgis. Photo provided

FRANKFORT — A special committee that House Speaker Greg Stumbo appointed to investigate sexual harassment complaints against a Western Kentucky lawmaker will hold its first meeting.

The first session will be an organizational meeting to elect a chairman and establish procedures for the investigation into the allegations that Rep. John Arnold, D-Sturgis, sexually harassed three female legislative officers, according to Stumbo. The meeting is 10 a.m. Sept. 17 in the Capitol Annex in Frankfort.

Stumbo spokesman Brian Wilkerson said the meeting will be open to the public, and then the panel will decide how to proceed.

The committee can recommend Arnold's censure or expulsion.

Arnold has refused to discuss the allegations. In complaints filed with the Legislative Ethics Commission, the women alleged that Arnold had touched them inappropriately and had made vulgar comments.

The five appointees to the special committee include Democrats Arnold Simpson of Covington, Rita Smart of Richmond, and Jeff Donohue of Louisville. The Republicans are Julie Adams of Louisville and Robert Benvenuti of Lexington.

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