Lawsuit Alleges Retribution Over Hoover Sexual Harassment Scandal

Dec 4, 2017

Credit Ryland Barton

An employee for statehouse Republicans is alleging she faced retaliation for blowing the whistle on an inappropriate relationship between former House Speaker Jeff Hoover and a subordinate.

In the lawsuit filed today in Franklin Circuit Court, Communications Director Daisy Olivo claims she suffered workplace retribution and loss of her job duties after expressing concerns to the Legislative Research Commission about Hoover’s relationship and the workplace environment that followed the revelation.

Hoover resigned his position last month, after Courier-Journal reported he had sent inappropriate text messages to a female staffer. The lawsuit filed today alleges the relationship went beyond text messages, and Hoover and the subordinate were engaged in a sexual relationship. It says Hoover’s Chief of Staff, Ginger Wills, wanted to fire the subordinate — a move Olivo disagreed with because the relationship was consensual.

The lawsuit alleges once the female staffer returned to work after a military leave, she complained about a hostile work environment in Hoover’s office. This lead to the sexual harassment settlement reported last month.

The settlement was paid for with private funds from “prominent campaign donors,” the suit alleges.

The lawsuit is filed against the Legislative Research Commission, and seeks a jury trial, compensatory and punitive damages and attorney fees.

Requests to Hoover’s office, Wills, Olivo, and Republican House leadership for comment were not immediately returned Monday morning.