Louisville, KY– It appears as though the Kentucky State House has Bob Filner of their own, as two staffers have come forward with sexual harassment allegations against state Rep. John Arnold (D.-Sturgis) that date back to 2010.
In separate complaints filed with the Legislative Ethics Commission, the two women, Cassaundra Cooper and Yolanda Costner, allege that Arnold, 68, repeatedly touched them inappropriately and made numerous vulgar comments to them.
According to WUKY, Costner’s compliant states that one day while she was walking up the stairs of the Capitol Annex with Arnold and Rep. Reginald Meeks, Arnold grabbed her underwear. Rep. Meeks witnessed the incident and became angry with Arnold.
Costner’s complaint also states that responded to Meeks outrage by telling her “I just could not resist grabbing those fancy red lace panties.”
When asked about the incident Meeks had no comment, citing the investigation, but told WUKY that there is a culture in the state house that leaves some employees vulnerable.
In another incident, which occurred on Feb. 14th of this year, Arnold, who has serves as a state representative since 1995, allegedly slapped her buttocks as she bent over to pick up a package of bottled water, WKU reported.
The complaint states that other lawmakers witnessed or were informed of Arnold’s inappropriate behavior which included cursing, sexual comments and unwanted touching.
The women, on separate occasions informed the Legislative Research Commission’s personnel director, the communications director for Floor Leader Adkins and the LRC’s executive director of Arnold’s harassment, and were assured he would be ordered to stay away from the two women unless he had important business with their bosses. The women also allege that Arnold was warned not to contact them.
The women say Arnold ignored those requests.
The two complaints also state that despite, reporting the harassment incidents, there was no real action taken against Arnold.
In her complaint, Cooper stated that “people responsible for establishing the laws” did not take her allegations against Arnold seriously.
“I feel like the people that I put my trust in to provide me a safe work environment have let me down and they continue let me down,” Cooper wrote in the complaint.
Rep. Arnold declined to comment on the allegations upon advice.
The Legislative Ethics Committee has 10 days to give Rep. Arnold copies of the complaint and must launch a preliminary investigation within the next 20 days.
If the LEC finds the claims have merit, they can privately reprimand Rep. Arnold or else initiate a “adjudicatory proceeding” to determine the validity of the women’s complaint.
Should the ethics committee find Cooper’s and Costner’s complaints have merit the women can also file a civil suit against Arnold to seek compensation for their emotional distress.
It would appear that some Democratic lawmakers have a problem with sexual harassment despite their liberal ideologies.
For the past few weeks, the news has been dominated with salacious allegations of sexual harassment against San Diego Mayor Bob Filner. In total, 18 women have come forward with allegations against Filner who has been described as a “dirty old man.”