The Chatter: Newly elected House Democratic whip could be added to lawsuit, Matt Bevin will file for office today

01/27/2015 10:21 AM

A former legislative staffer is looking to include newly elected House Majority Whip Johnny Bell in her lawsuit against the Legislative Research Commission and others, accusing the Glasgow Democrat of drug use and firing her to make room for his lover on his leadership staff.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reported that Yolanda Costner, whose suit centers on allegations of sexual harassment by former state Rep. John Arnold of Sturgis, accused Bell of possessing Xanax and marijuana on Capitol grounds, storing moonshine in his legislative office, and seeking “an intimate sexual relationship” with a woman he wants to hire in Costner’s place, according to a court filing Monday.

Bell, who ousted former House Majority Whip Tommy Thompson of Owensboro in leadership elections earlier this month, did not return calls from the newspaper seeking comment.

Thomas Clay, Costner’s attorney, said the accusations against Bell show his client has been targeted since she spoke out about improper conduct by Arnold.

A presidential sendoff

Former Kentucky Gov. and U.S. Sen. Wendell Ford will be laid to rest, and former President Bill Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden plan to attend funeral services in Owensboro Tuesday, according to a report by the Louisville Courier-Journal.

Clinton was the final president to serve alongside Ford in Washington, D.C., while Biden’s sister-in-law worked for Ford’s Senate office, according to the Courier-Journal.

Ford passed Thursday at age 90 after a battle with lung cancer. Mourners remembered the Democrat’s legacy in Kentucky politics at a Capitol memorial service Sunday.

Bevin will run in 2015, but for what?

One-time Republican U.S. Senate candidate Matt Bevin could make a crowded GOP gubernatorial field a little more cozy on Tuesday as the Louisville businessman will file for statewide office at 2 p.m. in the Capitol.

Bevin announced his plans in a Facebook post Monday evening, though he did not disclose which office he will seek. A formal campaign launch will follow in the coming days, he said.

“Challenging times and exciting opportunities lie ahead of us here in Kentucky and I look forward to earning your support again in 2015!” Bevin wrote in the post.

Kevin Wheatley

Kevin Wheatley is a reporter for Pure Politics. He joined cn|2 in September 2014 after five years at The State Journal in Frankfort, where he covered Kentucky government and politics. You can reach him at kevin.wheatley@charter.com or 502-792-1135 and follow him on Twitter at @KWheatley_cn2.

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