Gov. Bevin issues strong statement on sexual harassment allegations, without mention of Hoover

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on StumbleUponShare on RedditEmail this to someone

Staff report

Gov. Matt Bevin added fuel to the fire of sexual harassment allegations in Frankfort without mentioning House Speaker Jeff Hoover’s name.

Bevin held a news conference on Saturday at the state Capitol and his communications office issued this statement late Saturday afternoon:

“These alleged actions, which haven’t been denied, are reprehensible, indefensible and unacceptable. Any elected official or state employee who has settled a sexual harassment claim should resign immediately,” said Gov. Bevin. “The people of Kentucky deserve better. We appropriately demand a high level of integrity from our leaders, and will tolerate nothing less in our state.”

Statement from Gov. Matt Bevin on Alleged Misconduct from Memb…

These alleged actions, which haven’t been denied, are reprehensible, indefensible and unacceptable. Any elected official or state employee who has settled a sexual harassment claim should resign immediately. The people of Kentucky deserve better. We appropriately demand a high level of integrity from our leaders, and will tolerate nothing less in our state.

Posted by Governor Matt Bevin on Saturday, November 4, 2017

Earlier in the week, the Courier-Journal reported that Republican House Speaker Jeff Hoover had settled a sexual harassment allegation outside of court with one of his staffers.

The settlement was apparently private. It involved text messages and photos dating back to March, 2016.

Shortly after the governor’s statement, House Democratic Leader Rocky Adkins also issued a statement:

“The House Democratic Caucus is against workplace harassment in any shape or form, and given the allegations that have been publicized today and in the recent past, it is necessary that an independent, objective and full investigation be done.  Those individuals who have been proven to have engaged in harassing conduct or anything else improper should do the right thing and resign from their positions.”

But Republican Rep. Wesley Morgan, who was in the meeting, sent out a number of tweets Saturday calling for Hoover’s resignation or impeachment. Morgan claimed the speaker and other members of leadership have covered up harassment and threatened whistleblowers.

Bevin then held his news conference. He did not mention Hoover’s name and would not answer questions from reporters.

Republican leaders said Saturday they plan to hire a law firm to investigate the report of the sexual harassment settlement.

The Republican Party of Kentucky has released a statement on the allegations:

“While we condemn sexual harassment in any form, current reports are based on nothing more than anonymous sources and 3rd hand copies of text messages. Consequently, we don’t feel it would be appropriate to comment any further at this time,” said Tres Watson, Communications Director of the Republican Party.

Finally, Hoover also issued a statement:

“I am disappointed that our Governor in his press conference Saturday afternoon would call not only for my resignation but the resignation of other individuals who have no involvement in this matter. The Governor has yet to ask our side of the story, he and I have not spoken since the story broke, and I did not receive a courtesy call from him before his grandstanding today. Instead, he has accepted as fact only, one side of the story.

Gov. Bevin

“In effect, the Governor seeks to be judge, jury, and executioner without hearing the evidence. One must wonder why he is so motivated to attack us unless his goal is to remove a voice that dares on occasion to disagree with him as I have done when he has made unnecessary statements attacking our teachers, state workers and retirees who are simply looking for better solutions to very serious problems facing our state.

“I have no plans to resign. I am more resolved than ever to continue my work as Speaker thru the 2018 session and I will continue to speak out for all Kentuckians on issues of importance.

“I do support the request by Speaker Pro Tem David Osborne and majority leadership for an independent review of this entire series of events and look forward to the results of that review.”

Later Saturday evening Senate Democratic Floor Leader Ray S. Jones II,
Senate Democratic Caucus Chairman Dorsey Ridley, and Senate Democratic Caucus Whip Dennis Parrett issued this statement:

“The Senate Democrats have a zero tolerance for sexual harassment. We should immediately start a thorough and independent investigation to change the culture in Frankfort once and for all.”

All legislators must go through training on sexual harassment issues since 2013 sexual harassment incidents involving Rep. John Arnold, a democrat from Sturgis, who resigned and was later found guilty by the Legislative Branch Ethics Commission of violation of the state’s ethics code. Hoover was then one of the most vocal critics of the Democrats who then led the House.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on StumbleUponShare on RedditEmail this to someone

Related Posts

One Comment

  1. Tom Coe says:

    Why won’t Hoover deny the accusations? He also left out how much the settlement was for and where the money came from when giving his statement. #AnotherHundredYears

Leave a Comment