Former state worker shares inappropriate messages from Representative Michael Meredith

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -- The messy situation in Frankfort may have been brought to light in early November, but what's evident is that the mess has been going on for much longer, according to one former Frankfort staffer.

"I think it's relevant to the culture that goes on in Frankfort," said Jordan Morgan, a former Deputy Press Secretary for the Bevin administration and current felony prosecutor in Northern Kentucky.

When news of Jeff Hoover's secret sexual harassment settlement broke, he stepped down as Speaker, but kept his position as representative for the state's 83rd House district.

A few days later, news broke that three other state representatives were also involved in the settlement letter, which included Jim DeCesare of Bowling Green, Brian Linder of Dry Ridge and Michael Meredith of Oakland.

DeCesare responded to 13 News with the statement, "No comment, but I can say I've done nothing to be ashamed of, and welcome the independent investigation and its findings."

Brian Linder, confirmed the allegations in a statement to the Grant County News on November 8.

Michael Meredith has yet to release anything. 13 News has sent emails and left numerous voicemails throughout the month, including today.

Jordan Morgan, 28, says she never experienced anything inappropriate from any employee in Governor Bevin's office. However, the legislative body operates more like a “fraternity house,” she says. It was during Governor Bevin’s victory party in 2015 when Morgan says she had her first encounter with Rep. Meredith.

"A friend of mine approached me and said, 'hey, that's Michael Meredith he's a state representative, he thinks you're really hot,' or something along those line," said Morgan.

"The whole night he was kind of staring at me, and kind of getting in my space, just coming on a little too strong for a married man or really any man in general"

The below screen shot is a Facebook message from Rep. Meredith from that night saying, "where'd you go beauty?"

"When you're a young girl, I was 26 at the time, and you're a young girl and you're interested in politics and you're trying to start your career in Frankfort, it seems like it would be beneficial to create professional relationships with state representatives," explained Morgan, feeling uncomfortable after her first interaction with the Meredith.

Throughout the year, Morgan says she would see Meredith in the Capitol and he would act professional, but it was text messages she would receive from him through random times that made her feel a bit uneasy. She says she just tried to laugh it off, uncomfortable by the flirtatious communication.

Morgan is the daughter of state Rep. C. Wesley Morgan, a Richmond Republican. Morgan let her father know about the messages when the news broke about Hoover.

In an NPR interview, Rep. Morgan disclosed a portion of his daughter's experience, and that is when Morgan decided to come forward with her story to the media. She also said she wanted it to be made clear that one, it was not about anyone in Governor Bevin's office, and two, she never accused Meredith of sexual harassment, only communicating inappropriately with her.

"(It) was never anything lewd, never anything scandalous, he never sent me any pictures or anything like that, it was just always overly friendly, flirtatious messages," explained Morgan.

Her goal is also to shed light on a major issue among men in power in Frankfort, and all around the country for that matter.

"The interactions I had with Meredith, are very very minor compared with what some of the other females in Frankfort have experienced with him," said Morgan. "And honestly, the four people in that suit, that's just the tip of the iceberg."

Rep. Wesley Morgan has been prominent in ousting legislators accused of sexual harassment.

"I'm very grateful that he's been willing to stand up for me and for my friends, and young women all over Kentucky," said Morgan.

Since coming forward with the physical proof of messages, and disclosing her encounters with a man in a "secret" sexual harassment settlement, Morgan says she has been criticized and bullied.

"All I did was provide insight on a pattern of predatory behavior on young women who work in Frankfort by Michael Meredith."

On Friday, the Kentucky House turned over the investigation to the Legislative Ethics Commission.

"I’m disgusted by this entire mess and want to reassure Kentucky taxpayers that we remain committed to our actual work—solving the pension crisis and preparing for our upcoming budget session of the General Assembly," said Kentucky House Speaker Pro Tempore David Osborne on Monday. "We remain committed to the public finding the truth, to creating a professional and efficient work environment, and to doing the work of the people."

"Under no circumstances will sexual harassment or inappropriate workplace behavior be tolerated among the House Majority Caucus or its staff, and any results of the independent bodies now reviewing the allegations will guide our actions to ensure a safe and productive work environment.”

Now, those involved will wait to hear the full truth regarding actions that Jordan Morgan says never should have been committed by men representing the people of Kentucky.



 
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