LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) --  Gov. Matt Bevin has asked the Kentucky Supreme Court not to immediately take up his appeal in the University of Louisville Board of Trustees case, arguing that the case will be “moot” early next year when he asks the state legislature to approve his proposed changes to the board.

In a court filing Tuesday, Bevin rejected Attorney General Andy Beshear’s assertion that the governor’s attempt to reorganize the board – removing all of its appointees and replacing them with new ones -- has put U of L’s accreditation at risk. Bevin called that argument a “canard” and a “scare tactic.”

Bevin’s 8-page court filing does not address the fact that U of L was placed on probation earlier this month by its accrediting agency, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, related to concerns about undue political influence and the removal of board members without due cause.

“The governor is in denial,” Beshear said in an emailed statement. “The University of Louisville’s accreditation has been put on probation based solely on his reckless actions. He has driven the university to the edge of a cliff. I hope he doesn’t convince the legislature to push it over.”

At issue in the case is whether Bevin has the authority to reorganize university boards while the legislature is out of session.

Bevin’s filing says the General Assembly, which will have a new Republican majority in both chambers, will be asked to change the law surrounding the U of L board to implement Bevin’s proposed changes, including reducing the board from 20 seats to 13.

Bevin’s changes to the U of L board will be “superseded and rendered null by legislative action—or inaction,” according to the filing. “….This means that no matter the action taken in the 2017 session of the General Assembly, this case will necessarily be rendered moot.”

Bevin appealed an Oct. 21 ruling by Franklin Circuit Court Judge Phillip Shepherd, who ruled that Bevin did not have the authority to abolish the board.

Beshear then asked the Kentucky Supreme Court to take the case, skipping the state Court of Appeals, because of the case’s public importance.  

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