Kentucky Speaker Says He Won’t Resign Over Alleged Sexual Harassment Settlement

Nov 3, 2017

Kentucky House Speaker Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown
Credit Ryland Barton

Kentucky House Speaker Jeff Hoover won’t step down from his position after news reports that he secretly settled a sexual harassment claim with a female employee.

According to the Associated Press, at a Kentucky Hospital Association event Friday morning, Hoover said he would “absolutely not” resign.

Republican members of the state House of Representatives are scheduled to meet Friday afternoon to discuss Hoover’s status and a massive pension overhaul proposed by Gov. Matt Bevin.

According to a Louisville Courier-Journal report published Wednesday night, Hoover recently reached a settlement with a female staff member last week after receiving a letter making unspecified demands.

Hoover exchanged sexually suggestive text messages and asked the woman to send photos of herself, according to the report.

Hoover is a 57-year-old lawyer from Jamestown in Russell County. He has been a member of the House for more than 20 years and became the first Republican to lead the chamber since 1921.

Hoover declined to discuss the allegations Friday, according to the Associate Press, and fellow Republican lawmakers won’t say whether they still support him in his current role leading the state House of Representatives.

The allegations come as Hoover has been trying to muster support for Bevin’s pension overhaul, which has drawn fire from public employees.

The House Republican caucus is scheduled to meet in Frankfort at 2 p.m.