Commission finds John Arnold guilty of sexual harassment ethics - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Commission finds John Arnold guilty of sexual harassment ethics violations

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Kentucky ethics commission has found former state representative John Arnold guilty of three counts of ethics violations involving sexual harassment, issuing him a reprimand and a $3,000 fine.

The decision comes after the commission unanimously voted Wednesday afternoon to revisit the case. In April, the commission heard testimony from three Capitol staffers who say Arnold inappropriately grabbed, groped and verbally harassed them over a period of three years.

His defense attorney claimed Arnold suffered from dementia.

At the time, the commission failed to get the five votes needed to convict Arnold of ethics violations because three of the eight commissioners were absent from the meeting and a fourth position was vacant.

Today, the commission voted to re-hear the case, and late Wednesday afternoon, issued the new decision.

After the hearing, Yolanda Costner and Cassaundra Cooper, two women who say they are victims of sexual harassment from Arnold, told WDRB's Lawrence Smith they were relieved when they heard the decision.

"I praise God because, without Him, we couldn't have made it this far," Costner said. "I'm just glad that the public will know that it validates what happened to us. We were sexually assaulted at work. John Arnold did it. He grabbed me on the underpants and hit my coworkers on the behind. Those things are very unprofessional. I’m just glad that God is going to allow this to come forward and we can move forward with our civil suit."

Cooper agreed.

"He [God] had our back and He gave us the support and the strength that we needed to follow through with this case," she said. "There were some speedbumps set up, so to speak, and I'm just thankful that things turned out the way they did today."

Costner agreed that life has changed since they came forward with the allegations.

"I guess the way people treat us is differently," she said. "People are afraid to talk to us or people are afraid to hug us -- that wasn't making sexual advances to us.”

But both women agreed that some things never change -- specifically, they say, the behavior of some people in power, and how they treat women in the workplace.

"Even with the mandatory ethics training that was required at the beginning of the session, they still did things that were addressed at the ethics training," Cooper said.

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