House Speaker Stumbo appoints panel to investigate Gov. Matt Bev - WDRB 41 Louisville News

House Speaker Stumbo appoints panel to investigate Gov. Matt Bevin

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Ky. House Speaker Greg Stumbo speaks at a news conference on Oct. 5, 2016. Ky. House Speaker Greg Stumbo speaks at a news conference on Oct. 5, 2016.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - The Democratic speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives has appointed a bipartisan committee to investigate whether the state's Republican governor broke the law in his quest to convince lawmakers to switch parties.

Greg Stumbo told reporters Wednesday the committee will have the power to subpoena witnesses and will submit its report to the legislature before it reconvenes in January.

"We want to make sure this committee has the authority it needs to review and investigate all issues arising from the Governor’s actions and those acting at his direction," Stumbo said in a news release. "I am authorizing the committee to hire outside counsel so that it can conduct its investigation with as much independence as possible. The members I have selected to serve on this committee have the utmost integrity, and I have no doubt they will do a thorough job."

Bevin's Chief of Staff Blake Brickman called the inquiry a "political farce." He pointed to a voicemail Stumbo left for a Republican state representative saying the allegations against Bevin are "probably not as bad as maybe it was portrayed."

Two Democratic lawmakers have said Bevin threatened retaliation if they did not switch parties. Brickman "categorically denied" that ever happened.

The election, which will determine which party controls the House, is Nov. 8.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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