Jim DeCesare

Hearing Set for Kentucky Lawmakers Accused of Harassment

Mar 5, 2018
LRC Public Information

An ethics commission in Kentucky has scheduled a hearing for four Republican lawmakers who signed a secret sexual harassment settlement.

The Legislative Ethics Commission will meet April 3 at 9 a.m. The hearing is the result of an ethics complaint filed by a Democratic lawmaker against former House Speaker Jeff Hoover and GOP Reps. Jim DeCesare, Michael Meredith and Brian Linder.

Mike Wilson

Another candidate has joined the race for State Representative Jim DeCesare’s seat in the Kentucky House of Representatives. 

Mike Wilson of Bowling Green has filed to run for the 17th District seat that represents Butler and part of Warren County.  The seat opened up after DeCesare announced he wouldn’t seek re-election this year. 

Wilson is a Republican and works as Director of Facilities for Warren County Public Schools.

J. Tyler Franklin, WFPL

The sexual harassment investigation involving two state lawmakers from south central Kentucky is leading to plenty of interest in their seats. 

Four candidates have launched bids to replace embattled Republican State Representatives Jim DeCesare and Michael Meredith.

According to the Secretary of State’s office, two Republicans have filed to run for the seat belonging to DeCesare.  The 17th District House seat covers Butler and a portion of Warren County.

LRC Public Information

A Kentucky lawmaker who signed a secret sexual harassment settlement along with three fellow Republican legislators said Friday that he won't seek re-election in 2018.

According to the Bowling Green Daily News , Rep. Jim DeCesare of Bowling Green didn't mention the settlement in his announcement and didn't return the newspaper's phone calls about the decision Friday.

J. Tyler Franklin, WFPL

Republican leaders in the state House of Representatives have hired a law firm to look into sexual harassment allegations against multiple GOP members.

The scandal has already led to the resignation of former House Speaker Jeff Hoover.

In a statement released Tuesday afternoon, Speaker Pro Tem David Osborne said that “new information regarding this unfolding situation has emerged today.”


The FBI has confirmed it is looking into sexual harassment in the Kentucky state legislature. The news comes a day after House Speaker Jeff Hoover admitted to exchanging inappropriate text messages with a female staffer and resigned from his leadership position.

Three Republican lawmakers have been implicated in the scandal and removed from their committee chairmanships.

David Habich, a spokesman for the FBI office in Louisville confirmed the agency is reviewing the allegations.

J. Tyler Franklin

Gov. Matt Bevin is calling for the immediate resignation of all elected officials and staff who have been involved in settling or hiding sexual harassment allegations.

The announcement came in a quickly-organized news conference Saturday afternoon amid allegations that House Speaker Jeff Hoover and several Republican leaders in the chamber had secretly settled sexual harassment claims.

Bevin called for the immediate resignation of  “every individual who has settled a sexual harassment case” and state employees “party to trying to hide this type of behavior.”

Flickr/Creative Commons/Adam Theo

A growing movement to amend the U.S. Constitution is making its way to Kentucky.  A group called Convention of States will be in Frankfort Tuesday to lobby members of the General Assembly. 

State Representative Jim DeCesare has filed a resolution on the group’s behalf that calls for a national convention under Article 5 of the Constitution. 

The Warren County Republican says the resolution calls for two amendments.  One would require federal budgets to be balanced, and the other would give states sovereignty from federal mandates.

LRC Public Information

South-central Kentucky lawmakers are again pushing the state to provide matching funds for a veterans nursing home in Warren County.

A bi-partisan group of legislators from southern Kentucky tried and failed to get $10.5 million in state support during this year’s General Assembly. The federal government has pledged to kick in between $20 million and $30 million if Kentucky lawmakers provide money for the effort.

Warren County Republican Rep. Jim DeCesare is co-sponsoring a bill for next year’s legislature. He says a lot of pieces are already in place to make the veterans nursing home a reality.

"The property has been donated, the veterans groups have met with the folks in Washington D.C., they've met with the folks in Frankfort. So they've got broad support from not only the state entities, but also the federal entities."

A Butler County state Representative says he's strongly considering a run for a Senate seat following today's signing of new redistricting maps. The newly drawn boundaries place Morgantown Republican C.B. Embry, Jr., in the same district as Warren County Republican Jim DeCesare.

Embry gave his reaction to WKU Public Radio earlier Friday afternoon.

"Now I'm not fixing to announce or anything, but I'm leaning toward running for the sixth Senatorial district next year. That would be Butler, Ohio, Muhlenberg, and Hopkins counties," said Embry.

The sixth Kentucky Senate district is currently represented by Madisonville Democrat Jerry Rhoads. Embry admits it would be a tough challenge to take on Rhoads, given that the voter registration in the sixth Senate district is majority Democratic.

Warren County Representative Jim DeCesare told WKU Public Radio today that he plans to run for the 17th District House seat.

Kentucky LRC

A Warren County lawmaker says he's waiting until new legislative maps are drawn before he makes any decisions about his future.

Republican Representative Jim DeCesare could be placed in a tough spot when lawmakers pass a redistricting plan at the end of the special session that began Monday in Frankfort.

A Democratic proposal would put DeCesare in the same district as fellow House Republican C.B. Embry, Junior, of Morgantown. DeCesare tells WKU Public Radio that he's not ready to decide whether or not he would seek re-election under those circumstances.

"Once there's final passage on a piece of legislation, I'll look at it and see where I need to go from there,” said the Rockfield Republican.

Redistricting maps released Friday afternoon in Frankfort by Kentucky House leaders would place an equal number of Democratic and Republican incumbents in the same districts.

The Democratic proposal would put Republicans Jim DeCesare of Warren County and C.B. Embry, Jr., of Butler County in the same district.

Embry told WKU Public Radio he and DeCesare are prepared for that possibility.

"He's one of my closest friends in the House, and we talk often," said the Morgantown Republican. "We've discussed this many times, and we will continue to talk over the coming week."

Both Embry and DeCesare have previously said they will wait until the new redistricting maps are passed and signed into law by Governor Beshear before they commit to any future election plans.

Kentucky LRC

A Bowling Green lawmaker says a legislative redistricting plan under consideration would not place three southern Kentucky GOP incumbents in the same district.

A plan put forth by House Democrats earlier this year would have placed Warren County's Jim DeCesare, Brownsville's Michael Meredith, and Morgantown's C.B. Embry Junior in one House district. But Democratic Representative Jody Richards told WKU Public Radio that such a plan is no longer being considered.

"Now, C.B. Embry and Jim DeCesare may well run together, but most of that district would be in Warren County," said Richards.

Kentucky lawmakers will meet in Frankfort next month for a special session to draw new legislative maps based on the latest U.S. Census data. Both Richards and Warren County Republican Senator Mike Wilson told WKU Public Radio they believe lawmakers can get a deal done over the course of five days--that's the quickest a special session can start and finish under state law.

Kentucky LRC

A south-central Kentucky state lawmaker says he'll find out Monday what House Republican leaders are proposing for next month's special session on redistricting.

Butler County Republican Representative C.B. Embry, Jr., has a major stake in the new legislative maps that will come out of that session. Embry and two other GOP Representatives--Jim DeCesare of Warren County and Michael Meredith of Edmonson County--were placed in the same district under maps that were passed earlier this year by the House, but rejected by the Senate.

Embry told WKU Public Radio he's not sure next month's special session will be the last word on the redistricting issue.

"I hope this doesn't happen, that the passing of  the redistricting plan might again be unconstitutional and wind up in the courts," said Embry, whose district covers Butler and Grayson counties, as well as part of Hardin County. "If that should happen, I think the courts will draw the lines rather than the General Assembly."

The state Supreme Court threw out maps passed last year by lawmakers, finding that the plans were unconstitutional because they weren't balanced by population. Lawmakers tried, and failed again, during the 2013 General Assembly to get new legislative boundaries passed.

Kentucky LRC

A Warren County lawmaker says he feels good about the chances of a pension reform measure being finalized by the end of the legislative session. Republican Representative Jim DeCesare told WKU Public Radio he doesn’t think there are many differences remaining between the two parties.

“It was my understanding that when we left there both sides weren’t that far apart," said the Rockfield lawmaker. "We just have some details to work out on three or four main issues. And the hope is that they can come to some sort of a conclusion and some kind of result that everybody can live with.”

DeCesare said pension reform is “without a doubt” the single most important issue lawmakers need to hammer out before the session ends. A bill passed by the Republican-led Senate creates 401-K like retirement plan for new government workers, while a House-passed bill would use money raised from the lottery and horse tracks to fund the state’s pension contributions.

Most Kentucky lawmakers are back home for the next week-and-a-half, while some conferees remain at the state capitol trying to work out differences between the House and Senate. All lawmakers will return to Frankfort March 25-26 for the final two days of the regular session.