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Sen. Julian Carroll says he won’t resign amid sexual misconduct allegations; no ethics violations filed

By Kentucky Today

Embattled state Sen. Julian Carroll had indicated he’s going nowhere.
“Absolutely no resignation, no resignation,” Carroll said to reporters from the Lexington Herald-Leader and CNHI News as he was leaving the Capitol Annex cafeteria.

His close friend and lawyer Bill Johnson told The State Journal in Frankfort on Tuesday he didn’t expect the 86-year-old former governor to resign over allegations he groped and solicited sexual favors from a man 12 years ago.

“I think Julian will go right on as he’s been going,” Johnson said in that interview. “He’ll go to the Senate. He will go to the legislature — perhaps introduce legislation. He’ll do all the things he’s been doing.”

State Rep. Derrick Graham, D-Frankfort, declined Wednesday to say if he personally felt Carroll should resign, though he also wouldn’t say publicly whether he had spoken with the former governor.

Julian Carroll (LRC file photo)

“It’s the responsibility of the people of the Seventh District to determine what they want the senator to do,” said Graham, referring to Carroll’s Anderson, Franklin, Gallatin, Owen and Woodford County district.

“At this time, I haven’t heard from anyone that has not been supportive.”

The Senate Democratic Caucus, however, has been less than supportive of Carroll, calling for his seat on Sunday.

Senate Democratic Caucus Chairman Dorsey Ridley, D-Henderson, told The State Journal on Wednesday that he had “nothing to update about that,” despite Carroll’s new remarks, which were in seeming defiance of Ridley’s call for resignation. Carroll’s name and minority whip title remained hanging beside offices in the Capitol and Capitol Annex late Wednesday afternoon.

Each House of the General Assembly can “punish a member for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member,” though not twice for the same cause, according to the Kentucky Constitution.

Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, said in a statement to The State Journal, “We are still reviewing and examining the situation.”

As of Tuesday, no official ethics complaints against Carroll had been logged by the Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission.

Republican Party of Kentucky spokesman Tres Watson is more concerned with examining how Kentucky State Police and the Kentucky Bureau of Investigation (as the Attorney General’s Department of Criminal Investigations was previously called) handled allegations against Carroll when accuser Jason Geis first brought them to the attention of authorities in 2005.

“Whether or not Senator Carroll steps down I don’t think has any bearing on whether the victim’s claims are worth more in-depth investigation,” said Watson, who is concerned that “undue political pressure” arose when Geis originally came forward.

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