A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Gov. Beshear issues Executive Order to reorganize Board of Education; ten ousted members file suit

First thing Tuesday morning at 1:20 a.m., the Kentucky Secretary of State received and signed the first Executive Orders of the new Beshear administration. One was the appointment of Colonel Haldane Lamberton as Adjutant General. And the second, more controversial but in keeping with his campaign promise, was the reorganization of Kentucky’s Board of Education. Beshear announced that he had wielded...

Judge rules in favor of Democratic Party in lawsuit filed over 165,000 voters moved to inactive list

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today A Franklin Circuit Judge Monday afternoon ruled in favor of the Kentucky Democratic Party in their lawsuit filed over moving 165,000 registered Kentucky voters to an inactive list. The suit was filed at Franklin Circuit Court by the Kentucky Democratic Party against the State Board of Elections, and Attorney Anna Whites said following oral arguments Monday morning that while...

KY Supreme Court overturns lower court, rules that legislature can reject Attorney General’s contracts

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The Kentucky Supreme Court handed down a unanimous decision Thursday, finding a contingency fee contract the Attorney General’s office signed with an outside law firm to represent the state in lawsuits against opioid manufacturers and distributors is subject to legislative approval. 

Attorney General Andy Beshear issued a Request for Proposals for law firms in September...

B&H Gas, Johnson County Gas and owner Bud Rife fined $107,000 for violating statutes, PSC orders

The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) has fined Johnson County Gas Co. and B&H Gas Co. and their owner and president, Bud Rife, a total of $107,500 for violating Kentucky statutes and PSC orders 34 times. The violations involve issuing unauthorized debt in connection with since-dismissed rate cases filed by the companies and failing to adjust the amount charged to Johnson County Gas customers...

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...

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...

Despite opposition, measure allowing state officials to avoid Franklin Circuit Court clears committee

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Despite strong opposition from Kentucky’s chief justice, a bill that could remove civil lawsuits involving state government from Franklin Circuit Court easily cleared a Senate committee on Monday. Under the proposed bill, sponsored by Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, any action that includes a claim for declaratory judgement, injunctive relief, or other form...

BloodHorse reports that Kentucky Downs filed suit in Franklin Circuit Court over Oak Grove license

BloodHorse has reported that Kentucky Downs has filed a suit in Franklin Circuit Court of Appeals challenging the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission in awarding a Standardbred license to a partnership of Churchill Downs and Keeneland. Early rendering of the Oak Grove facility In a report by Frank Agnst, BloodHorse says that Kentucky Downs is asking the court to void a commission decision to award WKY...

Circuit Court upholds legality of Ky. Downs’ gaming operation, says terminals are pari-mutuel in nature

Franklin Circuit Court Judge Thomas Wingate has upheld the legality of Kentucky Downs’ historical horse racing operation, determining that the track’s innovative electronic gaming terminals based on the results of previously-run horse races is pari-mutuel in nature and permitted under Kentucky law. The ruling handed down Wednesday came more than nine months after Judge Wingate oversaw a trial stemming...

Bevin’s legal team files briefs on pension reform bill ahead of September Supreme Court hearing

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Gov. Matt Bevin’s legal team filed briefs Monday ahead of the Kentucky Supreme Court hearing next month on their appeal of a Franklin Circuit Court ruling that declared the public pension reform bill passed by the 2018 General Assembly unconstitutional and began their paperwork with a quote from a character from the old Popeye cartoons. “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday...

Supreme Court this week: To hear pension bill in Sept.; reverses L’ville election; hears right to work

Kentucky Today The Kentucky Supreme Court acted quickly Friday to accept the direct appeal of a Franklin Circuit Court ruling on the public pension reform bill passed by the 2018 General Assembly and scheduled the case to be heard in September. 
Earlier in the day, Gov. Matt Bevin’s general counsel filed a notice of appeal of a ruling by Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd that declared the...

Franklin Circuit Court rules against disqualifying attorney general’s office from pension lawsuit

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today A motion to disqualify Attorney General Andy Beshear’s office from pursuing the lawsuit he filed to throw out the pension reform bill was denied in Franklin Circuit Court on Wednesday. Steve Pitt, counsel to Gov. Matt Bevin, sought to disqualify Beshear and his office because he sent a letter to each legislator warning them that Senate Bill 1, the original pension reform...

Bevin files another suit against attorney general Andy Beshear in back and forth over pension reform bill

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today There’s a new wrinkle in the lawsuit filed by Attorney General Andy Beshear seeking that the public pension reform bill passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Matt Bevin be thrown out.   An important part of the suit alleged Senate Bill 151 is unconstitutional because it was signed by House Speaker Pro-Tem David Osborne, who Beshear argued is not...

Attorney General Andy Beshear sues opioid distributor McKesson Corp. for ‘flooding Kentucky’

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear has filed suit against a national opioid distributor alleging they are violating state law and “flooding Kentucky with massive amounts of opioids.” The suit, filed at Franklin Circuit Court on Monday, accuses San Francisco-based McKesson Corporation of “unfair, misleading and deceptive business practices, for excessively distributing...

Louisville investment adviser ordered to pay more than $830,000 is restitution for fraudulent activity

The Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) announced Tuesday that it has entered a Final Order to stop fraudulent activity by an investment adviser representative and his firm. The respondents have been ordered to pay more than $830,000 in restitution and $575,000 in fines. DFI stated that Louisville investment adviser representative Derek Burcham and his firm, Cornerstone Benefit Advisors LLC,...

Appeals court rules in favor of Bevin administration, allows medical review panels to proceed

The Commonwealth of Kentucky Court of Appeals on Thursday ruled in favor of the Bevin Administration by granting a stay of the Franklin Circuit Court’s Oct. 30, 2017 ruling in the Medical Review Panels case. The Circuit Court’s opinion ruled that the new Medical Review Panel law was unconstitutional. As a result of today’s decision, 89 current cases will proceed, and all prospective malpractice...

Franklin Circuit Court says Bevin can reorganize Workers’ Compensation Nominating Commission

Gov. Matt Bevin’s executive order reorganizing the former seven-person Workers’ Compensation Nominating Commission, which resulted in a five-member board with all new members, was upheld by the Franklin Circuit Court. Gov. Matt Bevin This decision further supports that the Governor has the legal authority to reorganize executive boards, says the Governor’s office. “Today’s court order...

Kentucky by Heart: Corns, ‘poor boy from Lewis County,’ made historic impact on education system

By Steve Flairty KyForward columnist Judge Ray Corns, of the Franklin County Circuit Court, handed down one of the most far-reaching judicial decisions ever rendered in the state of Kentucky—precipitating a dramatic change in the state’s education system. It was the passing of the Kentucky Educational Reform Act (KERA) in 1990. The legislative act occurred after the judge’s 1988 decision ruling...

Franklin Circuit Judge Shepherd suspends Bevin’s reorganization of workers comp commission

Staff report Franklin Circuit Court Judge Phillip Shepherd has suspended Gov. Matt Bevin’s executive order re-creating the Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Nominating Commission. In a 16-page order, Shepherd prohibits Bevin from appointing any workers’ comp judges other than those nominated by the old commission, pending final judgment by the court. He described the Governor’s...

A closer look at the Governor’s reorganization of the Workers Compensation Nominating Commission

By Judy Clabes KyForward editor In keeping with his campaign promises to “change Frankfort,” Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin has moved quickly in his first few months in office to restructure several state boards and commissions, among them the Kentucky Racing Commission, the Kentucky Horse Park Commission and the Kentucky Workers Compensation Nominating Commission. He has even put a hold...