A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Database shows Kentucky ranked second for most legal pain pills per person between 2006 and 2012

Between 2006 and 2012, drug companies distributed 76 billion doses of prescription pain medicine, “enough pills to supply every adult and child in the country with 36 each year,” Scott Higham, Sari Horwitz and Steven Rich reported in The Washington Post. And rural counties, especially in Appalachia, received some of the highest shares of pain pills per person. That’s according to...

AG Andy Beshear vows to protect Kentucky workers in bankruptcy action by BlackJewell mines

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Attorney General Andy Beshear is weighing in after his office received complaints about a major West Virginia coal producer that declared bankruptcy earlier this week.

 Charleston-based BlackJewel LLC, which operates mines in West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Monday, with CEO Jeff Hoops saying there wasn’t...

Former White House chief of staff to be keynote speaker for Kentucky Chamber Annual Meeting

The 14th annual Kentucky Chamber Business Summit and Annual Meeting will be held July 11-12 at the Louisville Marriott Downtown, with the Annual Meeting starting at 6:30 p.m. on July 11. John Kelly The Annual Meeting keynote speaker is Gen. John Kelly, a 45-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps who has led the U.S. Southern Command, served as the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, and most recently...

U.S. District Judge returns ‘sickout’ lawsuit filed by Beshear, Jefferson Co. teachers to circuit court

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today A federal judge has ordered a lawsuit challenging the use of Kentucky labor law to obtain names of teachers who were involved in “sickouts” back to state court. U.S. District Judge Danny Reeves on Thursday returned the case to Franklin Circuit Court. The lawsuit dealt with the subpoena of teacher attendance records during days when teachers called in sick to stage protests...

Another of Attorney General Andy Beshear’s opioid lawsuits withstands motion to dismiss

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Another lawsuit filed by Attorney General Andy Beshear against opioid manufacturers and distributors has survived a motion to dismiss. Six of his nine suits have now been cleared to proceed in the state court system, after motions to dismiss have been denied. Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear has sued nine opioid manufacturers and six of this suits have survived orders...

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear files two additional lawsuits against drug manufacturers

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Two more lawsuits against drug manufacturers, which include allegations of overcharging for insulin, were filed Monday by Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear. 
One suit, filed at Franklin Circuit Court, alleges insulin manufacturers Eli Lilly, Sanofi-Aventis and Novo Nordisk, who control 96 percent of the world’s insulin market; have increased the cost of the drug...

Kentucky Derby attendees are urged to report any suspicious indications of human trafficking

Staff report Kentucky Derby attendees are urged to be the alert, not just for their best bet but for human trafficking at the 145th Run for the Roses. Unfortunately, human traffickers target many large-scale sporting events to prey on victims and profit from the crim. 
“By raising awareness with partners, our community will be better prepared to stop traffickers this Derby,” said Attorney General...

Labor cabinet denies Beshear request to rescind subpoenas; attorney general prepared to file suit

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The Kentucky Labor Cabinet has denied a request by Attorney General Andy Beshear to withdraw subpoenas to 10 local school districts seeking teacher attendance records. And if they don’t, the attorney general says he will sue. “I will not allow this governor to bully our teachers and fine them up to $1,000 a day,” Beshear said in a statement. “If the governor’s...

Beshear demands Kentucky teacher attendance record subpoenas issued by state be rescinded

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear has threatened to take the Administration of Republican Gov. Matt Bevin to court if subpoenas seeking teacher attendance records are not rescinded. 
Earlier this month, the Labor Cabinet issued the subpoenas to at least six local districts, seeking the names of teachers who might have used sick days to attend rallies at the Capitol...

Kentucky Supreme Court hears arguments over Bevin’s reorganization of education boards

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The Kentucky Supreme Court heard oral arguments Friday on a lawsuit filed by Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear against Republican Gov. Matt Bevin’s reorganization of several education boards. 
There were seven state boards affected by reorganizations that were the targets of the suit:  the Kentucky Board of Education, Education Professional Standards Board,...

Kentucky Supreme Court to decide case regarding Beshear’s hiring of outside counsel for opioid cases

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The Kentucky Supreme Court will decide over the next couple of months if the attorney general can hire outside legal counsel on a contingency fee basis without approval from the Finance and Administration Cabinet. The issue stems from Attorney General Andy Beshear hiring four law firms to go after opioid manufacturers and distributors, whom he has said directly contributed...

Opioid crisis, human trafficking among top legislative session priorities for Attorney General Andy Beshear

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Attorney General Andy Beshear unveiled his legislative wish list for the 2019 General Assembly on Wednesday. During a Frankfort press conference, Beshear was joined by lawmakers who are sponsoring the bills, which deal with such issues as the opioid crisis, human trafficking and rate hike relief for utility customers. Beshear says his top priority is to gain bipartisan support...

Analysis: What determines a ‘public record’? The nature, purpose of document, not where it is kept

By Amye Bensenhaver Special to NKyTribune On January 15, Attorney General Andy Beshear moved closer to overruling a heavily criticized 2015 open records decision issued by his predecessor, Jack Conway, on his last day in office. In the 2015 decision, cited by Senator Damon Thayer in 2018 as the basis for his ill-fated proposal to exclude “emails, texts or calls on devices paid for entirely with...

Attorney General’s office secures nearly $1.5M for Kentucky in settlement with hip implant manufacturer

The Office of Attorney General Andy Beshear has secured nearly $1.5 million for Kentucky from a settlement with a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary for allegedly making misleading claims to Kentuckians on the longevity of its hip implants. Andy Beshear Beshear and the coalition of state attorneys general recently reached a multi-million-dollar multistate settlement with Depuy Orthopedics to resolve...

Scam Alert: Bourbon barrel company pretending to be headquartered in Lexington is stiffing customers

Attorney General Andy Beshear has issued a Scam Alert after his office and the Better Business Bureau say an online company claiming to be located in Lexington and selling bourbon barrels is scamming customers. OakWoodBarrels.com claims that “The Oak Wood Barrel Co.” sells bourbon, craft beer and spirit barrels that are ready to ship worldwide, yet three victims, two from out-of-state in Kansas...

John Schaaf: Legislative Ethics law — related to lobbyists — being defended in federal court

The Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission met in Frankfort this week to review several issues, including the Commission’s recent trip to federal court in Cincinnati to defend key provisions of the ethics law, which were challenged by State Senator John Schickel of Boone County. Schickel filed a federal lawsuit in 2015, arguing that his constitutional rights are violated by the ethics law prohibition...

Secretary of State Alison Grimes fires back against allegations as ‘political,’ focusing on becoming mom

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes fired back on Wednesday against allegations of wrongdoing, including on Attorney General Andy Beshear, a fellow Democrat, naming an independent counsel to investigate her. 
“People are fearful of what might come their way come 2019 and are seeking to do harm this year,” she said while also referring to Beshear in her response. Alison...

Poor People’s Campaign protestors allowed inside State Capitol upon return to Frankfort Tuesday

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Emboldened by an Attorney General Andy Beshear’s opinion that limitations on their entering the State Capitol were illegal, more than two dozen members of the Poor People’s Campaign returned Tuesday and this time were allowed inside. Deanna Cope Brandstetter, assistant to Chief of Staff Blake Brickman, accepts items from the Poor People’s Campaign at the doors to the...

Judge declares Kentucky’s pension overhaul unconstitutional, citing process used to enact law

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Franklin County Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd has declared a new Kentucky law overhauling the state’s government pension system unconstitutional. Teachers protest the pension overhaul at the Capitol in April. A Franklin Circuit judge has ruled the law unconstitutional. (Photo from Kentucky Today) In a ruling Wednesday, Shepherd took issue with the process lawmakers used...

AG Beshear: Every community must join our fight against modern day slavery – human trafficking

Victims of human trafficking are often the most vulnerable in our communities – victims of abuse and violence, runaways, refugees, immigrants or those who are homeless. Human trafficking is the second-largest criminal enterprise in the world and sadly, our Kentucky communities are not immune. Beshear In Kentucky, both adults and children are coerced into illegal sex trafficking, domestic servitude...