Legislative staffer alleges harassment; Landfill worker’s $10 million sexual harassment lawsuit voluntarily withdrawn

A former legislative staffer, Yolanda Costner alleges she was wrongfully terminated because she was the whistle blower in a previous sexual harassment case. State House Majority Whip, Johnny Bell fired Costner recently without giving any valid reason, and said that it was customary for a leader to choose his own staff.

Illegal possession of drugs?

Costner alleges that Bell terminated her employment because he wanted to replace her with another woman with whom he wanted to have an intimate sexual relationship, besides also illegally purchasing Xanax, a controlled drug from this woman. Bell also obtained marijuana cigarettes and had kept moonshine in his office, according to Costner. Costner claims that Bell used an ATM machine in the Capitol Annex to pay for the Xanax to the woman named in the lawsuit.

In a response, Bell said earlier this month that the claims made by Costner’s sexual harassment attorney were not true. He denied allegations that he was trying to replace Costner with a particular woman.

Whistleblower in trouble

In 2013, Costner and her colleague, Cassaundra Cooper had filed a sexual harassment suit in Franklin Circuit Court against Rep. John Arnold, D-Sturgis who later resigned. The request to add Bell to this lawsuit as a defendant is coming up for hearing shortly, according to Costner’s sexual harassment attorney.

Bell had allegedly told other legislators that he intended to terminate Costner’s employment if elected, as claimed in an email sent by Costner to state Rep. Tom Riner, D-Louisville in December. Costner had requested in the email that since she was the whistleblower, she should be protected from such retaliation.

Landfill worker withdraws sexual harassment suit

A landfill worker has voluntarily taken back a lawsuit he filed against the city for sexual harassment. A 60-day timeout has been taken in the $10 million lawsuit filed by Randy Beck who had alleged in this lawsuit that his supervisor at the Rapp Road landfill sexually harassed him by talking about having sex with Beck’s wife and grabbing his crotch. When Beck complained against this, the police were called in and he was taken to Capital District Psychiatric Center. What?

In its response, the city said that police was called because Beck had said he would declare war and was ready to defend himself when he was told that he would have to go back to work with the same supervisor in  December.

The sexual harassment attorney for Beck said that the dismissal of the lawsuit was a procedural one to allow more time to sort out the case. They would consider filing again after have more details of the case.  According to the dismissal notice, it is possible to re-file within 60 days without penalty.

Two different viewpoints on the matter

Beck was transferred to Capital Hills Golf Course after he said that he did not wish to work with the supervisor, and this has been named as a demotion in the lawsuit filed by Beck. Stephen Rehfuss, the attorney for the City, said that the suit should be dismissed since the allegations were baseless. Beck had worked as a watchman until 1996 at the Rapp Road landfill.