Councilwoman Angela Leet hires security guard after Johnson's threat of legal action
A spokesman has confirmed that Metro Councilwoman Angela Leet has hired a security guard following several recent incidents and a threat of legal action from Councilman Dan Johnson.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A spokesman has confirmed that Metro Councilwoman Angela Leet has hired a security guard following several recent incidents and a threat of legal action from Councilman Dan Johnson.
A day after a cease and desist letter surfaced threatening a lawsuit against Councilwoman Jessica Green after she accused Johnson of groping her at a public event, Leet has hired private security so "employees do not feel threatened."
Minority Caucus Director Steve Haag confirmed Leet has paid out of her own pocket to hire the private security guard for her legislative assistant, Erin Hinson, after she also received a copy of the Cease and Desist letter from Johnson's attorney, Thomas McAdam III.
Hinson was involved in an incident in 2016, when she said Johnson exposed his naked rear end to her in a parking lot. At the time, it was brushed off as an accident.
"It has been uncomfortable for that employee in City Hall since these allegations came forward," Haag said."The current situation is that we have an employee who does not feel comfortable, and we want them to know that they can come into work and that they're in a safe environment."
Haag said the cease and desist letter feels like an intimidation tactic and has made Hinson feel uncomfortable. He said Leet took action to protect her employee. Since hiring the private security, other council members have supported her move and suggested Leet consider using other security options already available to Metro Council members instead of her own private funds.
"Our obligation to our employees is to provide them with a safe working environment," Haag said. "So it shouldn't cost someone out of their own paycheck to be able to provide that."
Johnson was also banned from all Greater Louisville Inc. events after a chamber of commerce employee said he made lewd comments during a work trip to Austin, Texas.
Two weeks ago, Johnson said he mistakenly brushed up against Green's backside at an event in Wyandotte Park. Green said he grabbed her buttock, and she sent a letter to the Metro Council president documenting the alleged harassment.
Although Johnson issued a formal letter of apology to Green and agreed not to run for the Metro Council after his term runs out, McAdam said in the letter that Johnson believes Green, "with actual malice, [has] engaged in publishing and spreading false, destructive and defamatory rumors." It also states a lawsuit will be filed if the demands are not met within 10 days from the date of the letter.
The letter demands Councilwoman Jessica Green "immediately cease and desist your unlawful defamation" and "provide us with prompt written assurance within ten days that you will cease and desist from further defamation of Hon. Daniel D. Johnson's character and reputation."
Now that Hinson has also received a Cease and Desist letter, Leet plans to keep a security guard on hand anytime Hinson and Johnson might attend the same meeting or come in contact with each other inside city buildings, Haag said.
Haag described it as a "sensitive matter" and said there's concern because Johnson apparently issued the apology on the same day his attorney began drafting the letter threatening legal action.
As Councilman Johnson was walking into City Hall Wednesday, WDRB reporter Katrina Helmer asked why he sent the cease and desist letters to Green and Hinson. Johnson replied, "My lawyer sent those."
When asked if he had anything to say about the accusations against him, he walked off saying, "No."
WDRB News called the number listed for Johnson's attorney Tuesday and left a message, but no one returned the call for comment. When reporters called the same number Wednesday, a recording states that number has been disconnected.
Councilwoman Leet intends to present a new ordinance for the first time at Thursday's Metro Council meeting that would help create a policy and procedure for City Hall employees to report assault or harassment in order for a third party to investigate.
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