Louisville, KY- State Rep. John Arnold’s Ethics Committee hearing to address allegations that Arnold sexually harassed two city employees has been delayed indefinitely upon request of his attorney, who says his client needs a mental health evaluation.
The Ethics Committee hearing was slated to begin Tuesday, but Arnold must undergo a mental health evaluation for a cognitive disorder which his attorney says has affected the lawmaker for the past few years. Arnold’s attorney insists his client’s cognitive disorder caused him to act inappropriately towards some of the women in his office.
“John Arnold’s health has deteriorated rapidly in the past three to four years, his mental and cognitive status is very pertinent to the charges against him,” Steve Downey, Arnold’s attorney said in a phone interview with the Louisville Courier Journal. “Despite John’s doctor’s best efforts, a definitive diagnosis has not yet been reached.”
The probe by the Ethics Committee has been delayed indefinitely, and will be scheduled at later date when the commission sees fit, according to the Courier Journal.
Sexual harassment allegations against Rep. Arnold, 68, surfaced last fall when three women came forward accusing the politician of sexual harassment, and alleged the Legislative Research Committee of ignored their complaints.
Rep. Arnold resigned shortly after the allegations surface, but he is still facing two sexual harassment lawsuits and the Legislative Ethics Committee probe.
In one lawsuit, Cassandra Cooper and Yolando Costner allege that Rep. John Arnold touched them inappropriately and subjected them to unwanted sexual comments. In one incident Arnold grabbed one woman’s underwear as she walked up a flight of stairs. This particular incident was witnessed by a Rep. Reginald Meeks who condemned Arnold for his behavior. There are a number of other salacious allegations in this particular lawsuit which include inappropriate and unwanted touching, solicitations for sex and lewd comments.
The lawsuit also alleges that once they both reported Rep. Arnold to supervisors in Legislative Research Committee and they first ignored the allegations and later asked the lawmaker to stay away from the women, but he was not actually punished or reprimanded.
A third woman came forward with similar allegations and also noted that she reported the incidents to the Legislative Research Committee but no action was taken. The third woman alleges her supervisor the LRC Anita Muckelroy was more concerned with whether the woman was nice to Arnold than his inappropriate conduct. And again the LRC did nothing to stop Arnold from harassing this woman.
The attorney representing Cooper and Costner said Arnold’s the recent claim of a cognitive disorder is a “fiasco” and told the Courier Journal, “Yolanda and Cassaundra made their complaints a year ago, and to-date there has been absolutely nothing done to address them.”
Arnold like most politicians who sexually harass staffers, deny the allegations and blame the victims for the demise of their political careers. If the allegations are false pols have nothing to worry about, but of a sexual harassment attorney can prove their client’s claims are correct they can seek significant compensation.