The Richmond Register

Local News

February 21, 2014

More lawmakers subpoenaed in Arnold case

FRANKFORT — More state lawmakers have been subpoenaed by the attorney for former Democratic lawmaker John Arnold, who faces a Legislative Ethics Commission hearing Tuesday on allegations of sexual harassment.

But they may not honor them.

All but one of the House Democratic leaders said they have been served subpoenas: Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg; majority leader Rocky Adkins, D-Sandy Hook; majority whip Tommy Thompson, D-Owensboro; and Caucus Chair Sannie Overly, D-Paris.

Only Speaker Pro Tem Larry Clark, D-Louisville, has so far not been served. Rep. John Short, D-Hindman, confirmed Friday he too had been served while Rep. Keith Hall, D-Phelps, and Rep. Will Coursey, D-Symsonia, wouldn’t confirm or deny if they had received orders to appear at Tuesday’s hearing.

Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, said earlier this week he anticipated receiving a subpoena as well. Stivers and Stumbo, in their roles as leaders of the two legislative chambers, chair the 16-member Legislative Research Commission which employs legislative staff and governs the operations of the General Assembly.

All of the subpoenas apparently are from Arnold’s attorney, Steven Downey of Bowling Green. Downey did not immediately return a message left with his office assistant Friday seeking comment.

Stumbo – as he did when CNHI News first reported the subpoenas earlier this week – said he won’t honor the subpoena, instead invoking a constitutional immunity for lawmakers while the legislature is in session.

Otherwise, Stumbo said, the executive branch, in violation of the separation of powers, or a partisan judge might subpoena lawmakers to sway the outcome of a vote. He said he will be happy to appear before the Ethics Commission and “tell them whatever they want to know or ask me” – once the session ends in mid-April.

Section 43 of the Kentucky Constitution states: “The members of the General Assembly shall, in all cases except treason, felony, breach or surety of the peace, be privileged from arrest during the attendance on the sessions of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any speech or debate in either House they shall not be questioned in other place.”

Stumbo said he was hoping the Ethics Commission would agree to re-schedule Tuesday’s 10 a.m. meeting.

While Stumbo cited the separation of powers between the three branches of government for his position, Tuesday is also the day former President Bill Clinton is scheduled to appear in Louisville on behalf of Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes.

Grimes is the presumptive favorite to win her party’s nomination and square off against five-term Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell this fall. McConnell faces a primary challenge from Louisville investment manager Matt Bevin and three minor candidates but McConnell, the minority leader of the U.S. Senate, is heavily favored to win the Republican nomination.

During an August 2013 special session of the General Assembly, it was revealed that two female legislative staff employees had filed charges with the Ethics Commission, alleging Arnold had sexually harassed them on multiple occasions and had refused to follow directions to stay away from the women. A short time later, a third woman filed similar complaints with the Ethics Commission.

Arnold subsequently resigned his seat in the General Assembly while maintaining his innocence. Two of the women eventually filed suit in Franklin Circuit Court against Arnold, but the subpoenas apparently pertain only to the Ethics Commission hearing scheduled for Tuesday.

Ronnie Ellis writes for CNHI News Service and is based in Frankfort. Reach him at rellis@cnhi.com. Follow CNHI News Service stories on Twitter at www.twitter.com/cnhifrankfort.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 4-18 PackTrack1a.jpg Walkers, runners of every age ‘Pack the Track’

    Waco Elementary and Model Laboratory schools students raised more than $8,000 (and counting) for the annual Pack the Track event at Eastern Kentucky University’s Tom Samuels Track Thursday, said Kim DeCoste of the Madison County Diabetes Coalition.

    April 18, 2014 14 Photos

  • 4-18 George WilliamsWEB.jpg Suicide attempt fatal for inmate

    A Todd County man died Tuesday at a Lexington hospital following a suicide attempt at the Madison County Detention Center, according to Madison and Fayette county officials.
    George Kenneth Williams, 50, of Allensville, was transported Monday afternoon by Madison County EMS to Baptist Health Richmond, according to EMS Director Jimmy Cornelison. He was then transferred to Baptist Health in Lexington where he died Tuesday, according to the Fayette County Coroner’s Office.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • CCDW instructor indicted on charges of failing to provide training

    A Madison County grand jury has indicted a carry-concealed weapons permit instructor on charges he falsely claimed to have provided instruction to one person for a CCDW permit and provided incomplete training to three others.
    Christopher D. Fins was indicted April 9 on one count of CCDW instructor not providing firearms training and three counts of providing incomplete firearms training.
    Fins faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of all four felony charges.

    April 17, 2014

  • EKU dorm sprinklers may have been activated maliciously

    Fire-suppression sprinklers went off about 2:30 a.m. Thursday in Eastern Kentucky University’s Martin Hall dormitory, prompting its evacuation.
    Fluctuating pressure then caused a campus water main to break, according to EKU spokesperson Mark Whitt.
    The cause is uncertain, but university officials are investigating to determine if the sprinklers were activated maliciously, Whitt said.
    The residence hall houses 260 students who were placed in other university housing or stayed with friends. All were able to move back in later in the day, he said.

    April 17, 2014

  • Sixth person charged in motel meth bust

    A sixth person has been charged in connection with a methamphetamine-making operation discovered last week at the Bel Air Motel in Richmond.
    Roger M. Million, 24, Moberly Road, was charged Wednesday with manufacturing methamphetamine.

    April 17, 2014

  • 4-18 George WilliamsWEB.jpg Madison County inmate dies in Lexington hospital

    An inmate at the Madison County Detention Center died Tuesday at a Lexington hospital, according to officials with the Fayette County Coroner’s Office and Madison County EMS.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sprinkler goes off; dorm evacuated

    Fire-suppression sprinklers went off at about 2:30 a.m. Thursday in Eastern Kentucky University’s Martin Hall dormitory, prompting its evacuation.

    April 17, 2014

  • 4-17 4Hfieldday1.jpg 4-H Environmental Field Day

    Madison County fourth-graders participated in several hands-on activities Tuesday and Wednesday during the annual 4-H Environmental Field Day at the county fairgrounds.

    April 16, 2014 8 Photos

  • Hearing delayed on West Main zone change

    Signs giving notice of a public hearing on a proposed zone change at the corner of West Main Street and Tates Creek Avenue were not posted in time for the Richmond Planning Commission to scheduled a public hearing for its April 24 business session.

    April 16, 2014

  • Berea mulls break with Kentucky Utilities

    The city of Berea is considering whether to extend its contract with Kentucky Utilities or to shop around for another electricity provider.

    April 16, 2014

AP Video
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should the Richmond City Commission stop rezoning property to allow construction of apartments?

Yes.
No
     View Results