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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- A sexual harassment scandal at the Kentucky State Capitol fuels leaders to order a top-to-bottom review. The review will focus on the staff agency, the Legislative Research Commission, or LRC.
The leadership of the House and Senate, which oversees the LRC, says it's time to take a close look at the entire operation as they begin the search for a new director.
Former LRC Director Bobby Sherman abruptly resigned Sept. 20th in the wake of the sexual harassment scandal.
Three LRC staffers have now filed lawsuits charging sexual misconduct and retaliation by two lawmakers. They accuse Sherman of creating an environment that fueled the harassment.
Now, as legislative leaders launch the search for a new director, they're also ordering a performance review of the LRC to be conducted by an outside agency.
"Our intent is, and I think I speak for all our colleagues, both House and Senate, Democrat and Republican, that we're going to get this right. We're going to change things and make sure, going forward, this commission functions in a proper manner and in a solid manner," said House Speaker Greg Stumbo, a Democrat from Prestonsburg.
"We want to make sure that these individuals who work here, some 300-plus, understand that we're going to have a working environment that's appropriate for anybody to work in, each and every one of them," said Senate President Robert Stivers, a Republican from Manchester.
All this comes as House Speaker Stumbo prepares to defend himself in court. He has been named as a defendant in one of the lawsuits.
"I trust the civil process. I've been a lawyer for a long time and I believe the jury system works. Juries have a very unique way of determining the truth in matters like this, so I feel going forward that justice will prevail," he said.
"We're taking it seriously. We're looking, by our actions today, to take quick, prompt actions to make sure anything that is out there that can be addressed will be addressed," said Stivers.
The review will be conducted by the National Conference of State Legislators.
Meantime, State Police are continuing their investigation into former director Sherman's shredding of documents in the days after he resigned.
Deputy LRC Director Marcia Seiler has been named Acting Director, until Sherman's permanent replacement is found.