Former Ky. House speaker admits to Ethics Commission he was 'inappropriate' with coworker
The deal reached by Rep. Jeff Hoover to publicly admit he sent suggestive texts to a woman who worked for him.
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- The former speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives admits he was inappropriate with a woman who worked for him.
The Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission approved a settlement with Rep. Jeff Hoover in which he admitted to violating the ethics statutes by sending suggestive texts to the woman.
The former aide agreed to the settlement.
"I made a mistake. And I said from day one that I had made a mistake, " Hoover told the commission. In response to a question, Hoover says the woman never said the texts were unwelcome, but he admits they were still inappropriate.
Part of the settlement was for Hoover to admit his guilt. It requires him to pay a $1,000 fine and admit he violated the ethics code. The commission would not recommend that he be censured or expelled from the House of Representatives.
Commission Chairman Anthony Wilhoit said the woman agreed to the settlement, in part, to avoid dragging this out any longer. "You know, it's got to be embarrassing for her too. It spares her having to get on the stand and be cross-examined. So, altogether, justice was done."
The commission also reviewed the text messages between Hoover and the woman. For the first time, some messages were released to the public.
The texts essentially consist of flirtatious banter. But in one exchange, the woman apparently sends Hoover a photograph.
She says "Is that all you want, a photo of. I can do that for you."
"Whater you want to share," says Hoover.
He goes on to say "Long hair is nice but covered up great parts."
Hoover also admitted to paying a secret settlement of $100,000 to the woman involved.
An investigation began last year into a sexual harassment settlement he signed involving the woman who once worked for the House Republican Caucus.
Hoover is one of four Republican lawmakers who signed the settlement last fall. Last week, the commission dismissed a complaint involving the other three lawmakers.
Hoover resigned as speaker January 8, after first promising to resign November 5. Hoover stalled on his resignation in early January, after encouragement from several lawmakers to stay. He remains a state representative for the 83rd district. He is from Jamestown and is running unopposed for reelection this year.
House Speaker Pro Tem David Osborne will serve as speaker, until a permanent replacement is chosen.
Below is a full copy of text messages between Hoover and the aide:
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