Council members call for Johnson's resignation amidst sexual harassment allegations

Jessica Green speaks out

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- City council members are calling for Councilman Dan Johnson’s resignation from Metro Council after multiple allegations of sexual harassment.

Johnson formally apologized to two women on Wednesday and announced he would not run for re-election, but some say that’s not enough.

"This is not a laughing matter. Women every day all over the world, all over the country, all over this community have to endure sexual harassment,” Councilwoman Jessica Green said.

She said the issue has made its way inside City Hall.

Three different allegations against Councilman Dan Johnson have Councilwoman Jessica Green, Councilwoman Angela Leet and her staffer saying enough is enough.

"No one should have to go to work and be afraid to walk the halls, particularly here in city hall, no one should have to live like that,” Green said.

Green said Johnson groped her while taking a picture at an event last week.

She described, "He had his arms behind me and he reached down, cupped my right buttock, he squeezed it, and when I looked at him in a what in the world is going on look, he leaned down into my ear and he laughed and said something to the effect ‘oh you know that was an accident right?’"

Angela Leet's staffer, Erin Hinson, said Johnson exposed himself to her in a parking garage last year.

"I followed the appropriate procedures when it happened in the fall and it’s unfortunate that it was labeled as an accident, and it’s unfortunate that it was brushed off with the statement 'that’s just Dan,’” Hinson said.

Johnson wrote formal apologies to both women.

But they claim the problem is bigger than the two incidents— it’s a lack of policy and procedure.

"Unfortunately right now my understanding of the HR policy is that it does not cover some of us in City Hall, it does not cover our employees, nor does it cover elected officials. And that is a problem, that is a major deficiency,” Green explained.

Leet said she's been working on developing a sexual harassment policy that defines the procedure when an alleged sexual harassment incident is reported. She said she noticed the issue when her staffer came to her with the parking garage incident last October.

"There is no direction, there's no directive, there's no clear path so it becomes immediately gray area of who do you report it to and then what are the follow-on actions,” Leet said.

Leet hopes to present the new policy on Monday.

 

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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