Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Ky. House Approves Ethics Reform

House lawmakers overwhelmingly approved sweeping changes to the Legislative Ethics Commission on Monday following the panel's decision last week to not punish a former lawmaker accused of sexual harassment.

The Legislative Ethics Commission voted 4-1 to find former state Rep. John Arnold guilty of abusing his public office. But state law requires the nine member commission have at least five "yes" votes to convict someone.

Three commissioners were absent and one seat was vacant. Commissioner Elmer George voted "no" because he said the commission did not have the authority to punish a former lawmaker.

Legislation approved Monday would require commission members to attend at least half of the commission meetings every calendar year. And it clarified the commission does have jurisdiction over former lawmakers.