Darren Doyle, story and photo:
State republican legislators are facing serious questions in the wake of reports of a sexual harassment case settlement involving former Speaker of the House Jeff Hoover, who resigned as speaker earlier this week.
In addition to Hoover, Reps. Jim DeCesare of Rockfield, Brian Linder of Dry Ridge, and Michael Meredith of Brownsville, along with Ginger Wills, the chief of staff, also were parties to the settlement, according to the Courier-Journal.
The Courier-Journal first reported the alleged settlement over sexual harassment allegations by a woman who works on Hoover's legislative staff, according to a source that was unnamed by The CJ.
Both DeCesare and Meredith were removed from their committee chairmanships pending an investigation into the sexual harassment claim, according to a statement from Republican House leadership.
A request by the Edmonson Voice to the Republican House leadership for further comments was not immediately answered.
Rep. Meredith was the co-chair of the Local Government committee while Rep. DeCesare was the co-chair of the House Economic Development and Workforce Investment Committee.
The Edmonson Voice spoke with Rep. Meredith yesterday and asked him specifically about the allegations. "No comment," he said.
Neither Hoover nor DeCesare have yet to comment specifically about the case.
In a statement released today from from Kentucky House Speaker Pro Tempore David Osborne, he said:
"We had a four-hour meeting in which Republican House members were able to air their thoughts and ideas on how to move forward. We heard a lot of passion in the room about the need to keep our Republican caucus united and focused on solving the problems facing Kentucky. I emerged from the meeting feeling grateful for my colleagues, who all care deeply about their public service. It is vital that we get this investigation right, and that we not lose sight of the policy problems facing our state as we do that. I firmly believe the Republican majority in the Kentucky House is capable of handling both issues. The message I took from the caucus meeting was: we will not fail the people of Kentucky.”