Hoover Steps Down As House Speaker Yet Again

Zach Combest, Website Editor

Yet another scandal has hit the state Capital.

Former Speaker of the House of Representatives Jeff Hoover has stepped down from his position admits reports of sexual harassment with a female staffer.

Hoover resigned on Monday, Jan. 8 with an emotional and intense speech. Hoover was going to step down in November, but reports have said that he secretly settled the harassment claims. He has accused Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin and other representatives of lying about the harassment to get him kicked out of the house.

He said he didn’t want to be a distraction for the chamber as it tries to deal with pension reform, and he vowed to continue to work for that as a state representative. He accused Gov. Matt Bevin of lying about his relationship with the staff member after the settlement became known.

“He said we were sexually involved,” said Hoover. “Ladies and gentlemen, I will tell you and I will tell this governor, those are lies from the deepest pits of hell.”

Hoover admitted to having a sexual relationship with a staff member, but he has said that it was consensual. “Let me be clear, I made a mistake,” said Hoover. “I have admitted in front of 10 television cameras and 20 reporters or so and in front of my family that I sent inappropriate text messages. I did not do anything illegal. I did not do anything that was unethical. I did not do anything that was unwelcome or unwanted, and I did not engage in sexual harassment.”

Hoover initially promised to step down a day after Bevin called for anyone who had secretly settled a sexual harassment claim to resign from public office. But Hoover altered course last week when the legislative session began.

Hoover said he would allow Speaker Pro Tem David Osborne to preside over the House while the Legislative Ethics Commission investigates the settlement, which was signed not only by Hoover but also by three other Republican legislators – Reps. Jim DeCesare of Bowling Green, Brian Linder of Dry Ridge and Michael Meredith of Oakland and Hoover’s chief of staff, Ginger Wills.

Hoover will still represent his district, but instead of sitting at the front of the house he will be sitting in the back at his house seat. Hoover believes the motives by some Republicans in the house is just politically motivated because they want to be the house speaker one day.

The question now is that will Hoover ultimately get kicked out of the house or will he be able to hold his seat until his term is up? I attempted to reach out to Bullitt County District 26 representative Webber, but he did not reply back to me with a response.