Ky. Ethics Panel Member to Resign after Arnold Controversy

May 6, 2014

Vernie McGaha plans to resign from the LEC.

As the Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission prepares to meet Wednesday to further discuss the allegations of sexual harassment against former state Rep. John Arnold, one member of the commission has announced his intention to resign.

According to LEC executive director Tony Wilhoit, commission member Vernie McGaha announced his intention to resign but was convinced to stay on by Senate President Robert Stivers until the Arnold matter is concluded.

McGaha, a former state senator himself, was moved to resign after the commission cleared Arnold of wrongdoing via a single dissenting vote. Only five members of the commission were present on the day of the vote, and the nine-member body requires five votes for a conviction.

At least one LEC member who wasn’t present for the vote, Paul Gudgel, said he will attend the meeting in Frankfort but refused further comment.

Wilhoit said if McGaha follows through with his decision to resign, Stivers will appoint his successor. At the moment, the commission has only eight filled positions because the ninth position - which is appointed by the Legislative Research Commission - has remained vacant for the last two years, despite requests to fill it by the LEC.