Tip line for Metro Council employees to report harassment will n - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Tip line for Metro Council employees to report harassment will not be anonymous

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The anonymous tip line that will allow Metro Council employees to report sexual harassment will not be anonymous after all.

A special task force is drafting new anti-harassment policies that will apply to all Metro Council employees, including council members themselves.

The task force said concern about political dirty tricks is the reason the tip line that employees will use to report harassment to a third party investigator will not be anonymous as first thought.

“We need to make sure that people aren't trying to play political games by making assertions anonymously that may not be true. And I think everybody has a right to face their accuser,” said 19th Dist. Council member Julie Denton.

Council members insist the lack of secrecy will not discourage employees from reporting harassment.

“I think that we will get serious complaints, and we will be able to nip harassment or any untoward action in the bud, and that is our number one concern here,” said 1st Dist. Council member Jessica Green, who chairs the task force.

“I think, if anything, it would encourage people because they know now there's a system. Whereas before, we were completely quiet on that,” added 7th Dist. Council member Angela Leet, the task force vice chair.

The new policies are coming in the wake of accusations that 21st Dist. Council member Dan Johnson inappropriately touched Green, and exposed his backside to one of Leet’s assistants.Johnson apologized, but also threatened to sue his accusers. He was thrown out of the Democratic Caucus, but still holds his seat.

The controversy revealed gaping holes in the council's harassment policy.

“I do know, I do believe that something great is going to come out of this,” said Green.

The task force is recommending that accusations against council members go a bi-partisan committee for resolution, which could include starting the process of removing the council member.

If criminal behavior is suspected, the investigation would be turned over to law enforcement authorities.

“Someone should be making sure that we're not out here just running amok, and going completely nuts and harassing individuals,” said Green.

The draft goes to the council's ethics committee on July 18. The full council could vote on the final ordinances as early as July 27.

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