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What do you call it when a state legislator resigns amidst a sexual harassment scandal; the director of the Legislative Research Commission abruptly resigns; and a liberal Democrat is calling for the investigation of the Speaker of the House?

A bad month for Democrats.

Earlier today,  Democratic state Sen. Kathy Stein (D-Lexington) called for the investigation of House Speaker Greg Stumbo and other Democratic House leaders regarding the apparent cover-up of another sexual harassment allegation. Stein said an investigation is needed to help restore the public's trust in the state House which has been rocked by scandal and sexual harassment allegations over the past 30 days.

"These are serious charges being leveled, and an investigation is needed," said Stein, who served in the House prior to being elected to the state Senate.

 State Rep. Will Coursey (D-Symsonia) has been accused of sexually harassing interns. He denies the charges. Last month, three women filed formal complaints against former state Democratic Rep. John Arnold (D-Sturgis). A five member legislative panel is investigating the complaints but Stein believes that a special prosecutor would be better suited to investigate.

According to Louisville attorney Thomas Clay, legislative staffer Nicole Cusic will file a lawsuit against Coursey, the Legislative Research Commission, and former LRC director Robert Sherman for unlawful retaliation. Cusic told Coursey that "his conduct toward a legislative intern and an LRC staff member was inappropriate." Consequently, she was remove from her post and sent to work for the Senate Republican office. Cusic told The Courier-Journal that Coursey repeatedly tried to date interns in his office, told inappropriate jokes and made inappropriate statements about an LRC staff member.

Last Friday, LRC Director Robert Sherman abruptly resigned in the wake of the John Arnold scandal. Now House Minority Leader Jeff Hoover is urgiung the state police to investigate Sherman after the Courier-Journal reported that Sherman and a few top LRC employees shredded documents in his former office.

State police commander of public affairs, Richard Saint-Blancard said they will investigate the shredding.

One might say that there's smoke coming from the state House. But where there's smoke, there's fire. Should the House leadership be linked to any cover-up, the party's over–the reign of the Democratic party in the House that is.


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Director, Commonwealth Policy Center