Tensions run high as sexual harassment allegations arise at Majo - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Tensions run high as sexual harassment allegations arise at Majority Caucus meeting

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Councilwoman Jessica Green Councilwoman Jessica Green
Councilman Dan Johnson Councilman Dan Johnson

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville Metro council member Jessica Green broke down Thursday in the Majority Caucus meeting when addressing the sexual harassment allegations she made against fellow councilman Dan Johnson.

Johnson sat three seats down from Green, and the tension was obvious.

"I thought that we were at a close," Green said. "And so now to know that the time and the clock continues to tick ... I am exhausted. And I'm sick of it. And I'm asking to be give a little bit of respect. Because I'm just sick of it."

Two weeks ago, Green said Johnson grabbed and squeezed her backside at a public event. Green immediately reported this to Metro Council president David Yates.

Johnson eventually issued an apology letter, saying he won't run for re-election and will get counseling. But then just this week, Green got a cease and desist letter from Johnson's attorney threatening legal action.

Much of the concern Thursday was over the wording of the caucus rules and what should happen next when it comes to possible disciplinary action against Johnson.

The caucus chair, Bill Hollander, said he had a conversation with Johnson Wednesday with his recommendation, though Hollander would not say what that was.

He Johnson has until July 5 to respond.

Then the recommendations and Johnson's response will be forwarded to the entire caucus, and it will take a two-third vote to approve any disciplinary action, which could include removal or expulsion.

Green said he's already had plenty of time.

"I will never in my life address him directly now that there a a threat of a lawsuit," she said. "I believe the accused has been given sufficient due process."

Green eventually got up and left the meeting, and through it all, Johnson never said a word.

The caucus agreed it was a serious matter and needs to be addressed swiftly. In the process of the meeting, it came to light that there is no real reporting policy for City Hall employees to document harassment accusations.

Yates said council woman Angela Leet was working on an ordinance for a policy, but that it isn't ready. Yates wants the policy in place quickly so that everyone is comfortable, but Green was opposed to it.

She said the council shouldn't rush it when they could present something more comprehensive. 

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