CLAIM: former Rep. John Arnold groped fellow legislator - WDRB 41 Louisville News

CLAIM: former Rep. John Arnold groped fellow legislator

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- There are new claims that the wandering hands of former state Rep. John Arnold were not confined to state capitol staffers.

The latest discovery filed in sexual harassment lawsuit against Arnold charges that the former state representative from Sturgis inappropriately groped one of his fellow legislators, Rep. Sannie Overly.

The suit was filed in October by capitol employees Yolanda Costner and Cassaundra Cooper. They charge that Arnold repeatedly grabbed and groped them.

In the new court documents, Costner now also claims that Arnold inappropriately touched state Rep. Overly, a Democrat from Paris.

In an interview, Costner told WDRB that one alleged incident occurred as Overly was running for chair of the Democratic Majority Caucus.

"Rep. John Arnold came in and rubbed the skirt, the thigh of Rep. Sannie Overly and said to her, 'If you keep shortening your skirts any shorter, then you'll make a good caucus chairman, you will be caucus chairman,' something to that effect."

Costner claims a second incident occurred on the House floor when Arnold went too far and Overly reacted.

"And she said she took a book and slammed it on his head because he was behind her, rubbing her shoulders, reaching down a little bit further than she was comfortable," said Costner.

Tom Clay, the attorney for Costner and Cooper, said there were of number of witnesses to the alleged incidents.

"I think there were concerns or complaints raised about what he had done. And again it was a situation where these complaints basically went unanswered. Nothing was done," he said.

Overly herself has not filed a complaint.

All this comes days after the special committee investigating Arnold disbanded without taking action. The Democratic majority decided the committee did not have jurisdiction because Arnold had resigned.

But Republican member Julie Adams of Louisville said these new allegations show the committee's work should have continued.

"I think that's there's a break in the public in the public trust. I think it's our responsibility to police ourselves, and what it's saying is we don't have the ability to police ourselves," she said.

Overly now serves the House Majority Caucus chair. She has not returned a call to her office seeking comment.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo has insisted on numerous occasions that the House leadership responded appropriately after learning of the harassment charges.

Arnold has denied any wrongdoing.

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