Stumbo will fight subpoena for interview in Arnold case while General Assembly is in session

02/21/2014 10:17 AM

Citing Section 43 of the Kentucky constitution , House Speaker Greg Stumbo said he will fight a subpoena issued by former Rep. John Arnold’s lawyer to appear at an ethics commission hearing while the legislature is in session.

Arnold, a former Democrat from Sturgis, is facing a legislative ethics commission investigation into allegations that he sexually harassed House Democratic staffers before resigning from the General Assembly in September.

Section 43 of the constitution prevents lawmakers from being arrested and says they also “shall not be questioned in any other place” while the legislature is in session to ensure lawmakers aren’t detained for political reasons to miss a debate or vote.

The ethics commission is scheduled to hold a hearing Tuesday, which is the 34th day of the 60-day legislative session.

Stumbo said his attorneys will file a restraining order to fight the subpoena. He told reporters Friday he wouldn’t have a problem appearing — but after the session is over.

He said he and other lawmakers received subpoenas, including three other Democratic leaders: Rep. Tommy Thompson of Daviess County, Rep. Sannie Overly of Bourbon County and Rep. Rocky Adkins of Rowan County.

But he said none of the lawmakers he knows of who have been subpoenaed by Arnold’s lawyer, Steven Downey of Bowling Green, have spoken to Downey. And Stumbo, a lawyer himself, said it was curious and ill-advised for an attorney to subpoena a witness without knowing what that person would say.


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