State rep. names 3 other leaders involved in harassment case

Published: Nov. 4, 2017 at 10:09 PM EDT|Updated: Nov. 4, 2017 at 11:51 PM EDT
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FRANKFORT, KY (WAVE) - WAVE 3 News has obtained the names of three other committee chairmen involved in a sexual harassment case.

This comes after Governor Bevin issued a statement Saturday on alleged misconduct from members of the Kentucky House of Representatives.

House representative Phil Moffett confirmed to Wave 3 News that those three other committee chairmen are Michael Meredith of District 19, Bryan Linder from Northern Kentucky and Jim Decesare of Bowling Green.

"These people are innocent until proven guilty," Moffett said. "All of the facts that we've uncovered, I think implicate them very strongly."

Gov. Bevin had some strong words for elected officials and allegations of sexual misconduct.

"These alleged actions, which haven't been denied, are reprehensible, indefensible and unacceptable. Any elected official or state employee who has settled a sexual harassment claim should resign immediately," said Gov. Bevin. "The people of Kentucky deserve better. We appropriately demand a high level of integrity from our leaders, and will tolerate nothing less in our state."

The statement comes days after reports that Republican House Speaker Jeff Hoover settled a sexual harassment allegation out of court. The allegation came from one of Hoover's staffers.

"I mean we were shocked that Jeff Hoover was involved," Moffett said. "I honestly could have tried to have named one hundred people that may have done something like this and I would not have come up with Jeff's name. That's where we are."

Republicans in the Kentucky House of Representatives have indicated they plan on hiring a law firm to investigate the report.

Kentucky Democratic leadership echoed Bevin's sentiments in its response.

"The House Democratic Caucus is against workplace harassment in any shape or form, and given the allegations that have been publicized today and in the recent past, it is necessary that an independent, objective and full investigation be done. Those individuals who have been proven to have engaged in harassing conduct or anything else improper should do the right thing and resign from their positions," Kentucky House Democratic Leader Rocky Adkins said.

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes released the following statement:

"I join Governor Bevin in condemning the inexcusable actions that have come to light regarding members of the Republican House majority, including leadership. As Secretary of State, I have a zero-tolerance policy regarding harassment and hostile work environments with respect to the Secretary of State and State Board of Elections offices.

"It is the obligation of state employees — including elected officials — to maintain workplaces where every colleague and constituent is respected. Those who do not meet that standard should resign or be terminated and held accountable," Grimes said.

On Saturday, lawmaker Wesley Morgan made allegations on Twitter that other sexual harassment claims were covered up by Republican leadership

Hoover released a statement on Saturday evening.

"I am disappointed that our Governor in his press conference Saturday afternoon would call not only for my resignation but the resignation of other individuals who have no involvement in this matter.   The Governor has yet to ask our side of the story, he and I have not spoken since the story broke, and I did not receive a courtesy call from him before his grandstanding today.   Instead, he has accepted as fact only, one side of the story," Hoover said.

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