Motion seeks to add new KY House Majority Whip to sexual harassm - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Motion seeks to add new KY House Majority Whip to sexual harassment lawsuit

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Rep. Johnny Bell Rep. Johnny Bell

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- One of three women who claim to have been sexually harassed while working at the Kentucky State Capitol wants to add new House Majority Whip Rep. Johnny Bell (D-Glasgow) as a defendant in her lawsuit.

On Monday afternoon, Thomas Clay, the attorney for Yolanda Costner, filed a supplemental motion in Franklin Circuit Court to add Bell to the suit filed in 2013 against former Rep. John Arnold and the Legislative Research Commission, the bureaucracy that provides support to the General Assembly.

Costner had worked for state government for 25 years before Bell terminated her last week after he was elected House Majority Whip, replacing Rep. Tommy Thompson.

The motion claims that Bell had “proclaimed his intention to ‘clean house' of the staff members” who had previously worked for Thompson, and that Bell subsequently hired a staff member who had worked for him previously.

The document goes on to claim that Bell was “motivated in part by his desire to have an intimate sexual relationship” with the woman. According to the motion, Bell specifically asked the woman in 2012, “When are you gonna give it up?”

The motion also claims Bell obtained a controlled substance, Xanax, from the woman, and used an ATM machine inside the Capitol Annex to pay her in cash.

The document also contends that Bell “is also known to keep moonshine in his office” and that Bell “was seen by witnesses to be in possession of a marijuana cigarette in front of the Capitol Annex.”

In the motion, Costner also claims that her firing was unlawful retaliation against her for engaging in “whistleblower” protected activity.

Bell's attorney, Charles English of Bowling Green, told WDRB News that he plans to respond, "timely and appropriately" at a hearing on Monday.

A spokesman for House Speaker Greg Stumbo said he does not comment on pending litigation.

Yolanda Costner declined an on-camera interview.

You can read the full motion here

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