Sexual harassment inquiry of Ky. lawmakers delayed by uncooperative witnesses
Acting House Speaker David Osborne agreed to extend the deadline to Dec. 1.
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- Some state workers are refusing to cooperate with an investigation of a secret sexual harassment settlement involving four Republican lawmakers.
House Republican leaders have hired a Louisville law firm to investigate the settlement. The firm was supposed to present its initial report Wednesday. But acting House Speaker David Osborne agreed to extend the deadline to Dec. 1 because lawyers said they could not complete the report without the employees' cooperation.
In a statement, Osborne said, "I understand that procedural hurdles and a lack of cooperation by at least two people have hindered progress. I am very disappointed in the procedural delays the investigators experienced and will be addressing these issues in the days ahead."
Former House Speaker Jeff Hoover resigned his leadership position earlier this month after acknowledging the settlement paid to a member of his staff. The settlement involves three other Republican lawmakers. GOP leaders have removed all three from leadership positions.
Osborne says he is considering turning the investigation over to an outside agency that would have the power to subpoena witnesses.
He said, "We wish to assure the public that we are taking steps-to the best of our ability-to protect taxpayers from as much liability as possible. We have no interest in a situation where taxpayers are on the hook for anyone’s poor judgment or actions, and we will continue to be vigilant in this regard."
Osborne also says he is working with members of General Assembly in both parties and both chambers to reform the legislature's workplace procedures.
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