Lawsuits filed in Kentucky State Capitol sexual harassment case - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Lawsuits filed in Kentucky State Capitol sexual harassment case

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The sexual harassment scandal at the Kentucky State Capitol is now headed for court.

WDRB was the only television station there when three of the alleged victims filed lawsuits claiming harassment and coverup at the Capitol.

Louisville attorney Tom Clay came to the Franklin Co. Courthouse to file two separate lawsuits on behalf of three women who say they were victims of sexual harassment.

One suit was filed on behalf of Yolanda Costner and Cassaundra Cooper.

They claim they were victims of sexual harassment, foul language, even assault by then Rep. John Arnold over a period of three years.  "We're disappointed that we, basically, have to file a lawsuit to get justice not only for us but all employees at LRC," said Costner.

"[We want] just a professional workplace where you don't have to worry about being harassed by certain individuals because they to have a certain title to their name," said Cooper.

Arnold resigned Sept. 13, but has denied the accusations.

The suit also names House Speaker Greg Stumbo as a defendant. Stumbo's office says he will not comment on pending litigation.

"We believe that Mr. Arnold had a history of prior sexual misconduct in his legislative capacity which went unanswered," said Clay.

In the second suit, Nicole Cusic claims retaliation. She says she was moved to a new job against her will after she confronted Rep. Will Coursey for sexually harassing an intern.

"I was told that he was coming in for a meeting on a specific day, for a committee meeting, and he wanted me out of the office that day. He did not want to enter the office and me be there," said Cusic.

Coursey's attorney Mark Edwards says his client did nothing wrong.  "She was moved from Mr. Coursey's suite because he was very unhappy with the work that she did," said Edwards.

Cusic's suit also names former LRC director Bobby Sherman, Cusic's boss, who abruptly resigned 10 days ago.

Clay says he has not yet decided what monetary damages he might seek in the lawsuits.

So, after years of whispers in the hallways and offices of the State Capitol, the sexual harassment scandal may now play out in open court.

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