A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Former House Speaker Jeff Hoover seeks new rules governing discipline in wake of resignation

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

Jeff Hoover resigned as Speaker of the House on Monday, but he’s far from finished speaking.

Hoover on Tuesday asked for a new rule in the House that would make it more difficult for lawmakers to discipline each other. His idea was to require lawmakers who are trying to get him expelled from the House to pay his legal expenses if they fail in the bid.

Former House Speaker Jeff Hoover has had back-to-back emotional days on the House floor. (Photo by Tom Latek, Kentucky Today)

“I think it’s only appropriate that we adopt a rule that if folks file complaints against someone and are not successful, they should pay,” he said.

Acting House Speaker David Osborne ruled Hoover’s motion was out of order.

Hoover resigned Monday, more than two months after publicly acknowledging he secretly settled a sexual harassment claim with a woman in his office. Hoover denied sexual harassment, but said he sent inappropriate but consensual text messages with a woman who once worked for the House Republican Caucus.

Hoover announced his resignation in November but when the House convened for the first time since the settlement was made public, Hoover did not resign, instead temporarily ceding power to Osborne “until further notice.”

On Monday, Hoover officially resigned on the House floor. In an emotional speech, Hoover denounced his critics, including Republican Gov. Matt Bevin, for telling lies about him that he says come from “the deepest pits of hell.”

“I don’t know what he is alluding to,” Bevin said Tuesday on WHAS radio.

“All I will say is this: His decision (to resign) is him following through on what he said he would do, and I applaud him for doing it,” Bevin said.

Osborne said the controversy has not disrupted the House’s work. Several House committees have canceled their first scheduled meetings this week, but several are scheduled to meet Wednesday to begin the process of debating legislation.

Hoover was one of four Republican lawmakers to sign the settlement, but he is the only one facing possible removal.

Hoover has said he intends on running for re-election to his House seat but has not yet filed paperwork.

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