Gov. Matt Bevin says he expects former House Speaker Jeff Hoover to officially step down from his leadership position when the legislature goes back into session on Jan. 2.
Hoover announced he was stepping down from his role as speaker last month after admitting he exchanged sexually-charged text messages with a staffer.
On WHAS radio’s Terry Meiners show, Bevin said it’s “highly unlikely” that Hoover would try to keep his leadership position when the General Assembly goes back into session.
“I don’t know why he would do that. He’s already stated that it’s his intent to stand down,” Bevin said. “You can’t officially resign until the House is in session, which will happen when they come back in again.”
According to the Associated Press, some representatives have been gauging support among House Republicans about keeping Hoover as speaker.
The Louisville Courier-Journal first published a report that Hoover and three other Republican lawmakers secretly settled a sexual harassment complaint with a staffer.
Hoover admitted that he and the other lawmakers had signed the settlement for an undisclosed amount of money, but denied sexually harassing the woman.
Hoover said he would resign his leadership position, but continue to serve in the House of Representatives.
House Speaker Pro Tem David Osborne has unofficially assumed duties of the speakership and Republican leaders say he will continue serving as “acting speaker” during the upcoming legislative session.
Osborne said that Hoover is still technically speaker until he officially resigns the position when the legislature reconvenes.
“If he chooses to resign, he cannot do that until we actually go back into session. Because we do not exist legally as a body until we go into session,” Osborne said after a Kentucky Chamber of Commerce event.
“We decided the best way forward was to operate as we were, which was for me to continue to act as the speaker. We believe we are on solid legal footing in doing that so that’s the way we’re going to proceed.”
Hoover did not return a request for comment.
Gov. Bevin has repeatedly called for Hoover and other lawmakers implicated in the scandal to resign their elected positions.