Ky. House Speaker Jeff Hoover reconsiders resignation over harassment claim
The House rule that means he technically did not resign in November, when he announced he was stepping down.
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- Kentucky's House speaker, who said he would resign his leadership position after acknowledging he settled a sexual harassment claim with a female legislative staffer, now says he's reconsidering that decision.
Jeff Hoover announced his resignation in November, saying at the time that it was "effective immediately." But his resignation is not official until he submits it to the House of Representatives.
The House convened Tuesday, but Hoover did not resign. Speaker Pro Tem David Osborne gaveled the House into session as Jeff Hoover watched quietly from his seat. In a statement, Hoover said he has asked Osborne to preside over the House "until further notice."
“When I announced on November 5th my intention to resign as Speaker of the House, I felt, based on the Governor’s comments, it was the best decision for me, as well as for my colleagues in the House of Representatives. My decision was made primarily with the intent to protect House members from the intervention of the Executive branch into purely legislative matters.
Almost immediately, I began hearing from members of the House, both Republicans and Democrats, as well as business leaders, political leaders and others across the Commonwealth, encouraging me to reconsider my decision to resign.
As I consider the best course forward, and in light of the two pending issues before the Legislative Ethics Commission, I have asked Speaker Pro Tempore David Osborne to serve, as the Rules of the House of Representatives provides, as the presiding officer until further notice.
I appreciate the continued prayers and support that have been offered by so many and look forward to doing my part to make the Commonwealth of Kentucky a better place for all of us.”
Hoover said Tuesday that several lawmakers have asked him to reconsider his resignation. He has denied committing sexual harassment, but acknowledged sending inappropriate but consensual text messages to a woman who worked for the House Republican Caucus.
Hoover may be waiting for the results of a Legislative Ethics Commission investigation into the harassment scandal, which also involves three other House members. He left the House chamber early and was not around to answer questions.
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