Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

September 20, 2013

LRC director turns in resignation

FRANKFORT — The director of the governing arm and support staff of the Kentucky legislature resigned Friday after 14 years as director and more than 30 working for the General Assembly.

Robert “Bobby” Sherman, 61, informed Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, and House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, who chairs the Legislative Research Commission, of his resignation by letter on Friday.

The resignation comes in the midst of an investigation into allegations by three LRC female employees that they were sexually harassed by former Rep. John Arnold, D-Sturgis, who resigned a week ago, declaring he is innocent of any sexual harassment.

Cassaundra Cooper and Yolanda Costner filed complaints with the Legislative Ethics Commission which indicated they’d also registered complaints with the LRC. Their complaints indicated they were unsatisfied with how Sherman and others responded to their charges.

A third woman, Gloria Morgan, subsequently filed a third complaint against Arnold with the ethics commission, also charging her complaints weren’t taken seriously by the LRC staff.

Sherman’s letter said he has been “contemplating the appropriate time for my retirement” for some time and might have done so earlier “except for my desire to follow through with supervision and support of a staff investigation of work-related harassment complaints.”

He went on to say an LRC staff investigation was “thorough and strenuous” and the complaints “were addressed promptly, fully examined, and protective measures implemented.” The goal of the investigation, Sherman said, was to protect the employees “from improper conduct and retaliation of any sort. I believe that goal was achieved.”

He said now the investigation is complete it is a “logical time for my departure.” The LRC investigation reported no impropriety in the way Sherman or the LRC handled its investigation into the allegations.

Sherman declined comment to CNHI beyond what is in his letter of resignation.

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