Lawmakers Set To Testify In Arnold Ethics Hearing

Feb 24, 2014

Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers, along with two other Republican senators, will testify at a legislative ethics hearing Tuesday.

Credit Louisville Courier Journal

The hearing will focus on former Rep. John Arnold, who was accused of sexually harassing three statehouse aides, but questions remain about why the lawmakers, ten in all, were subpoenaed.

The Legislative Ethics Commission will ask Arnold's attorney, Steven Downey of Bowling Green, to explain why he chose to subpoena each lawmaker Monday.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo, also among those called to testify, told reporters Friday he would challenge the subpoena. He said the state constitution protects lawmakers from arrest or detention while they're in session and he’s unclear on what new information he could bring to the proceedings.

Accusations that Arnold repeatedly sexually harassed aides Cassaundra Cooper and Yolanda Costner surfaced last August. Though the Democratic lawmaker has since resigned, the LRC could still reprimand or fine him if it finds that he violated a law that bars legislators from unfairly securing advantages for themselves.

The LRC chair can also quash a subpoena if he finds that a witness won't bring relevant evidence to the hearing.