FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Latest on an ethics hearing about sexual harassment allegations in the Kentucky legislature (all times local):
The Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission has dismissed a complaint filed against three Republican lawmakers who signed a secret sexual harassment settlement last year.
The commission voted to dismiss complaints against Reps. Brian Linder, Jim DeCesare and Michael Meredith. A complaint against former House Speaker Jeff Hoover will continue.
The four lawmakers signed a secret sexual harassment settlement last year involving a woman who once worked for the House Republican Caucus. Hoover resigned as speaker in January and the other three lost their leadership positions. Hoover has denied sexual harassment, but said he did send inappropriate but consensual text messages.
Lawyers for the three say DeCesare and Linder sent text messages to the woman who made the allegations while Meredith said something “vulgar” to her.
Four Kentucky Republican lawmakers paid a woman $110,000 as part of a secret sexual harassment settlement they signed last fall.
The lawmakers divided the sum among themselves and used either their own money or loans from a bank and family members. That’s according to Michael Malone, a prosecutor for the Legislative Ethics Commission who is handling a hearing before the commission.
Former House Speaker Jeff Hoover and Republican Reps. Brian Linder, Michael Meredith and Jim DeCesare all signed the settlement in which they did not admit guilt. Democratic Rep. Jim Wayne had filed an ethics complaint, alleging the lawmakers broke state ethics laws.
The commission held a hearing Tuesday, where it mostly discussed preliminary and organizational matters.
An ethics commission in Kentucky is holding a hearing about four Republican lawmakers who signed a secret sexual harassment settlement last fall.
The hearing is the result of an ethics complaint against former House Speaker Jeff Hoover and Republican Reps. Jim DeCesare, Brian Linder and Michael Meredith. The four lawmakers signed a secret sexual harassment settlement last fall involving a woman who once worked for the House Republican Caucus. Hoover resigned as speaker in January. The other three were stripped of their leadership positions. All four remain in the legislature.
Democratic Rep. Jim Wayne filed the complaint. The commission could fine the lawmakers. They could also recommend the House expel them. Of the four, only Hoover and Meredith are seeking re-election. Hoover does not have opposition.