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January 2, 2018

 

GOP squabble among themselves over restoring Hoover

 

Less than two hours before the Kentucky General Assembly will convene for the 2018 regular session it remains uncertain who will preside as speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives.

GOP Governor Matt Bevin shown in brighter times congratulating House Speaker Jeff Hoover on legislation passed during the last session.GOP Governor Matt Bevin shown in brighter times congratulating House Speaker Jeff Hoover on legislation passed during the last session.

Rep. Jeff Hoover, the Jamestown Republican elected to a two-year term as speaker a year ago, said in November that he had resigned as speaker after the Courier Journal reported that he had signed a confidential settlement with a female staff member who had accused him of sexual harassment.

But Hoover, who denied harassing the staffer but admitted to sending inappropriate consensual text messages to her, did not resign his House seat. And some of Hoover’s closest allies in the House Republican caucus have asked him to take the gavel when the House convenes at noon on Tuesday.

“I haven’t a clue as to who will be presiding,” Rep. Jerry Miller, R-Louisville, said in an interview Tuesday morning.

Ky House Speaker pro tem David OsborneKy House Speaker pro tem David OsborneNeither Hoover nor Speaker Pro Tem David Osborne, a Prospect Republican who has assumed leadership of the House since Hoover said he would resign, returned phone calls Tuesday morning.

Miller said that the matter may be resolved when the 63-member House Republican caucus meets behind closed doors at 10:30 a.m. “We’re going to hear a lot at that caucus meeting,” Miller said.

Hoover’s resignation was never official because the House cannot accept a resignation or take any official action until it is in session.

Meanwhile, on Monday, the House Clerk Brad Metcalf was fired.

Metcalf was part of a deeply-divided House staff, and he was on the side that sympathized with the staffer who made the complaint against Hoover and three other House Republicans.

Metcalf confirmed in an interview Tuesday morning that he was fired on Monday afternoon while he was working in his Capitol office preparing for the session. He said the general counsel and human resources director of the Legislative Research Commission came to his office and told him he was fired.

He said the two LRC officials told him that information learned during an investigation by House leadership of the complaint filed against Hoover and the three other lawmakers by the law firm Middleton-Reutlinger was the reason he was fired. Metcalf declined to elaborate on the reason but said he was allowed to gather his personal belongings and was escorted from his office by the State Police.

Any attempt by Hoover to retain the speakership, after his tearful resignation speech in November, would likely deepen the rift in the Republican House caucus and the Kentucky Republican Party.

State Rep. C. Wesley Morgan, R-Richmond, has pre-filed a resolution calling on the House to expel Hoover. And Gov. Matt Bevin has repeatedly demanded in public comments in the past two months that all four House members who signed the settlement must resign from the House.

 

Comments  

0 #1 wow 2018-01-05 18:47
tax payers money at work. Here in the real eastern Ky,( not Pikeville) we still struggle without jobs, rising electric bill, car insurance and health insurance sky rocketing. Still no relief in sight.
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