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State Workers Describe Sexual Harassment

Former state Rep. John Arnold will not be punished for charges that he sexually harassed three state employees over four years.Yolanda Costner and Cassaundra Cooper testified Tuesday before the Legislative Ethics Commission that they were afraid to come to work because they did not know how former Democratic Rep. John Arnold would behave around them.

A majority of the Legislative Ethics Commission voted to find Arnold guilty of violating state ethics laws by abusing his position as a public official. But Commissioner Elmer George voted no because he did not believe the commission had the authority to punish Arnold because Arnold is no longer a member of the General Assembly.

Elmer's vote meant each of Arnold's counts failed with a 4-1 vote. State law requires the commission to have five votes before it can fine or sanction someone.

Arnold has denied the allegations. He did not attend Tuesday's hearing. His attorney, Steve Downey, said Arnold has been diagnosed with dementia, which has affected his mental health.