In a dramatic speech Monday afternoon on the floor of the Kentucky House of Representatives, Rep. Jeff Hoover formally resigned his post as Speaker of the body. The Jamestown Republican has been embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal that involves three other GOP lawmakers.
In remarks that ranged from angry to tearful, Hoover acknowledged his mistakes but he reiterated that he did nothing that was illegal or unethical, and said he did not engage in sexual harassment.
Hoover had harsh words for his opponents in Frankfort, and he pledged to continue to work for Kentuckians and the people of his 83rd House district, which includes Clinton, Cumberland, and Russell Counties and part of Pulaski County. The lawmaker said he intends to introduce a pension reform bill as early as tomorrow that he and other legislators have been crafting.
In early November, Hoover announced he would resign as Speaker after news reports revealed a secret sexual harassment settlement between the Republican House members and a legislative staffer. Soon thereafter Hoover said he began to hear from colleagues and voters who wanted him to remain at his post. Then when the General Assembly convened last week, Hoover said he would not resign as Speaker but would allow Speaker Pro Tem David Osborne (R-Prospect) to preside over the House while the Legislative Ethics Commission investigated the matter.
In January 2017, Hoover was elected to be the first Republican to serve as state House Speaker in nearly a century.
KET will have more on this story on Kentucky Tonight at 8 p.m. and Legislative Update at 11:30 p.m.