Gov. Matt Bevin repeats call for lawmakers involved in sexual harassment scandal to resign
Bevin admits scandal threatens the GOP plan for pension reform.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Gov. Matt Bevin pulled no punches Tuesday in his assessment of the still-unfolding sexual harassment scandal at the state Capitol.
“This is an embarrassment to Kentucky, and it should be cleaned up,” Bevin said.
Bevin repeated his call for former House Speaker Jeff Hoover and lawmakers who paid to settle a sexual harassment case to resign their seats.
“In other states, when people are accused of these things, let alone have admitted to it and/or paid people to keep it quiet, they've had the decency to resign and remove from themselves -- and their families and their party and the democratic process and their states -- the stain associated with dragging this out in public on the front page and in the news,” Bevin said. “It's inappropriate. It’s unacceptable.”
Bevin said he does not know all the details of the whistleblower lawsuit filed by House Republican Communications Director Daisy Olivo. The suit claims the relationship between Hoover and a female aide went beyond sexting, a charge both Hoover and the now-former staffer deny.
“What I know for a fact already is that people elected to do the will of the people, people elected to serve the Commonwealth, have compromised their moral authority, their integrity and their good judgment,” Bevin said.
Without mentioning Hoover by name, Bevin rejected the former speaker's claim that calls for him to resign are motivated by politics. Hoover has been a vocal opponent of parts of Bevin's pension reform plan.
“People trying to play the victim as a result of their own bad behavior shouldn't be tolerated,” Bevin said.
But Bevin admitted he is concerned that divisions in the GOP as a result of the scandal are threatening passage of his pension plan.
“That's exactly why we need to clean it up," he said. "Everything that happens in that legislature is affected by anyone or any numbers of members that are a part of it. So, of course it affects it. No question. That's why we need to have our house in order.”
Bevin has insisted he will call a special session on pensions before the end of the year. But asked about the narrowing window of opportunity, he walked away without answering.
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