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H-L: Local man files whistleblower lawsuit against Legislative Research Commission

NC GAZETTE / WBRT RADIO
STAFF REPORT

Saturday, March 10, 2018 — Brad Metcalf, the Nelson County resident who was fired Jan. 1 from his job as chief clerk of the Kentucky House of Representatives, has filed a whistleblower lawsuit alleging that he was fired for reporting harassing text messages from a member of the House to a legislative staffer.

A story in Friday’s Lexington Herald-Leader reports that Metcalf filed the lawsuit Thursday against the Legislative Research Commission in Franklin Circuit Court.

In the suit, Metcalf states he was approached by a co-worker in 2016 who alleged she was receiving inappropriate text messages from state Rep. Jim DeCesare, R-Bowling Green. Metcalf states he contacted former House Speaker Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown, about the messages and Hoover told him it would be taken care of.

BRAD METCALF

DeCesare and Hoover were among the four Republican House members who secretly settled a sexual harassment claim with a legislative staffer last fall. Hoover has admitted sending “inappropriate” text messages to the staffer but maintains their relationship was consensual. Hoover was eventually forced to resign from his position as House speaker amid the scandal.

Metcalf’s lawsuit corroborates some of the claims made by House Republican communications director Daisy Olivo, who filed her own whistleblower lawsuit against the LRC in December.

Metcalf said Olivo approached him and said former Chief of Staff Ginger Wills was moving toward firing the legislative staffer who had allegedly received inappropriate messages from DeCesare and was having an inappropriate relationship with Hoover. Metcalf also said the legislative staffer showed him a large volume of text messages, “many of an explicit nature,” between her and Hoover.

In the lawsuit, Metcalf says he was informed on October 17 that a legislative staffer had served a large demand letter against Hoover, several members of the General Assembly and a legislative staffer.

Five days later, he says he was told by House Republican General Counsel Laura Hendrix to report to her office during working hours, when he was then questioned by Vose, Hoover’s private attorney, about the legislative staffer’s work habits and her interactions with House members. Metcalf said he subsequently told everything he knows about the scandal to LRC General Counsel Greg Woosley and Director of Human Resources Tim Holbrook, attorneys hired by the House Republican Caucus to investigate the claims, and legislative ethics investigators.

Metcalf was hired in 2004 as a policy analyst for House Republicans, before being named chief of staff in 2016. He was named chief clerk after Republicans took over the House in 2017.

Metcalf is seeking lost wages and benefits, as well as damages.

Click here for the complete story filed by the Herald-Leader’s Daniel Descrochers.

 

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