FRANKFORT — Democratic State Rep. Sannie Overly of Paris, who is running for lieutenant governor this year, wants her deposition sealed in a sexual harassment case against a former state legislator.
Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate has scheduled a 9 a.m. hearing Wednesday to consider Overly's request.
Louisville Attorney Thomas Clay is scheduled to depose Overly on April 13. He is representing two women — Yolanda Costner and Cassaundra Cooper — who have filed a sexual harassment suit against former state Democratic Rep. John Arnold of Sturgis. Arnold has denied any wrongdoing.
Clay said he wants to ask Overly about any sexual harassment she might have experienced in the legislature.
"I understand that John Arnold touched her inappropriately and she may have seen other stuff," Clay said without elaboration.
He said he also will ask Overly about the conduct of other elected officials. He declined to say who they might be.
Asked which other legislators he has deposed, Clay said he questioned state Democratic Reps. Mary Lou Marzian of Louisville and Linda Belcher of Shepherdsville earlier Tuesday about sexual harassment in the legislature and has a deposition scheduled with state Democratic Rep. Reginald Meeks of Louisville.
Meeks has said he saw Arnold pull at Costner's panties when she was walking to the Capitol Annex in March 2010 and that he told Arnold to never do it again. Costner was a legislative staffer at the time.
Clay also said he plans to depose former Legislative Research Commission director Bobby Sherman on Wednesday.
Neither Overly nor her attorney, Anita M. Britton of Lexington, returned phone calls seeking comment Tuesday afternoon.
In a four-page memorandum filed April 2 to support Overly's motion for a protective order, Overly said the court may make such an order "to protect a person from annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, undue burden or expense."
Overly said she specifically requests that Clay not be able to disseminate the video transcript of her deposition "to the media or to anyone outside of the pending litigation."
Clay has a history of disseminating depositions to blog writers, she said.
"This conduct is particularly odious when it involves the testimony of a non-party," she said.
Overly added, "Surely these individuals have a legitimate interest in protection from the embarrassment and annoyance that comes from having one's words sampled without context or the opportunity for rebuttal."
Clay said Wednesday he has previously disseminated depositions taken during the sexual harassment case.
"I make no apology for letting the public know what has happened in the legislature," he said.
Asked if he would disseminate Overly's deposition if a court does not prevent that, Clay said, "Yes."
Overly is running for the state's No. 2 public office on a slate with gubernatorial hopeful Jack Conway of Louisville, the state's attorney general.