Litigation over Gov. Bevin's U of L board delayed over expert wi - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Litigation over Gov. Bevin's U of L board delayed over expert witness

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- There is a new delay in the legal battle between the Governor and the Attorney General over the University of Louisville board of trustees.

An important hearing was scheduled for next week in Franklin Co. Circuit Court, but at Gov. Matt Bevin's request, it is not going to happen.

Judge Phillip Shepherd is concerned that Gov. Bevin's firing of U of L's old board of trustees and the appointment of a new one could affect the schools accreditation.

He had scheduled a hearing for next Wednesday to address that issue. But Bevin's attorney Steve Pitt says he needs more time because his expert witness has backed out.

“For various reasons that are beyond pretty much his control, and certainly beyond my control, since he can't do it,” Pitt told Shepherd during a hearing.

Shepherd granted a delay until next month, but made it clear he wants this case to move quickly going forward.

The Attorney General's office, which is challenging Bevin's move to change the board, made a tongue-in-cheek offer to help.

“There are numerous, numerous experts on SACS accreditation that Mr. Pitt can talk to. I can give him a few names, actually,” laughed Deputy Assistant Attorney General Mitchel Denham.

Bevin has appealed Shepherd's injunction preventing the board he appointed from meeting. But Pitt denies this is a delaying tactic.

“Absolutely not. The Governor, as with the court, and as with the Attorney General, wants to get this case decided,” Pitt told reporters.

In a statement, Attorney General Andy Beshear said, “We appreciate and share Judge Shepherd’s urgency toward reaching a final decision in this case. Our hope is that the governor’s office will minimize any future delays.”

Meantime, the old U of L Board may meet this week. But Pitt maintains that board is not legitimate.

“And it would be our position that it should not meet,” said Pitt.

Judge Shepherd wants Pitt to retain a new expert witness by next Friday, and hold a hearing on the accreditation issue in early September.

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