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Kentucky Lawmaker Who Fired Statehouse Staffer Added to Harassment Lawsuit

FRANKFORT — One of the top-ranking Democrats in the Kentucky House of Representatives has been added to an ongoing sexual harassment lawsuit in Franklin County.

Franklin County Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate on Wednesday added state Rep. Johnny Bell of Glasgow as a defendant in a case brought by a former state worker against the Legislative Research Commission and former Democratic lawmaker John Arnold.

Yolanda Costner is seeking damages after she says the Legislative Research Commission did not prevent Arnold from sexually harassing her. Bell became Costner's boss last month when he was elected House majority whip. Bell soon dismissed Costner, an action Costner said was to retaliate against her for filing the lawsuit.

Bell's attorney, Charles English, declined to comment, saying he would file a response in court soon.