Democratic leaders respond to Republican's independent investigation on harassment allegations

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -- According to multiple sources, a letter includes sexual harassment settlement claims by multiple state representatives.

Amid these sexual harassment allegations in Frankfort, House Republicans have launched an independent investigation, and new leadership has been established.

Democratic leaders released a letter yesterday to Kentucky House Speaker Pro Tempore,​ David Osborne, expressing their concerns about the party's independent investigation.

"You can't investigate yourself. It doesn't make logical sense, and certainly not ethical sense to investigate yourself," says Rep. Wilson Stone (D), 22nd District.

The democratic party insists on having a role in the independent investigation.

"Certainly we would like to have a role moving forward, and really because this is really about the trust and support and respect for the institution as a whole," says Rep. Stone.

The Republicans are open to discussion, but have not made any actions to include the Democratic party.

"If we take time to quibble over who's gonna dot this "i" and cross this "t" that could only delay things further and that's not in anyone's interest," says David Graham, Warren County GOP Chairman.

Acting Speaker Osborne said he's confident the Republican majority is "capable of handling the policy problems" and the independent investigation in a press release sent out Wednesday.

"You know the state party's been very clear that they want to get it all out in the open," says Graham.

Local State Representative, Jim DeCesare, is allegedly one of the state representatives mentioned in connection to the harassment complaint. DeCesare released a statement to 13 News.

"No comment. But I can say I've done nothing to be ashamed of, and welcome the independent investigation and its findings."

13 News has reached out to State Representative Michael Meredith, but still have not heard anything.

"Including our local folks, and friends of mine I would say, they really have a lot to gain I believe from a thorough investigation," explains Rep. Stone.

Specifics of these alleged harassment claims have not been officially made public.

"There's all kinds of bits of information that has been sort of flung out there which I think is another reason for a thorough independent investigation, one that everybody can have confidence in," says Rep. Stone.

The Democrats met with Republicans Wednesday to reiterate their goal.

"You know we're all for what's in the best interest of the Kentucky House of Representatives," says Rep. Stone.​

It's clear the investigation will take place by a third party, and done so quickly, as information has already been disclosed rapidly over the past week.

"Between the budget, there's gotta be some tax reform, there has to be some reasonable pension reform that we can all live with- that's a lot to do, so this mess, and it's a mess but this mess has to get cleaned up so we can move on," says Graham.

Brian Linder, one of the state representatives mentioned in connection to the harassment complaint, released a statement to Grant County News admitting he signed a settlement agreement with the staffer making the accusations, and apologizing to his family and his constituents.



 
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