Politics

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin’s chief of staff says he authorized the firing of a key aide to Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton.

Blake Brickman said in a statement on Saturday to The Courier Journal that he authorized the firing of Adrienne Southworth, saying she repeatedly demonstrated poor judgment.

The firing last month prompted Hampton to send out a tweet praising Southworth’s work as “stellar” and asking for prayers in her fight against “dark forces.”

“The Governor’s Office typically does not comment on personnel matters,” Brickman said in the statement. “However, in light of repeated misleading insinuations and blatant lies about Adrienne Southworth’s termination, it is important to set the record straight.”

Brickman said Southworth was terminated for multiple reasons including repeated and unauthorized efforts to lobby state legislators in “an effort to pass legislation that provides more leniency for convicted sex offenders who violate their parole” in addition to misusing state property.

Southworth disputed Brickman’s reasons, saying she has never advocated for leniency for sex offenders who violated parole and hasn’t misused state property.

“We were expecting character assassination …” Southworth said. “As the bureaucrats descend into irrelevance, they try to claim my scalp for their political rescue.”

Brickman said Southworth wasn’t meeting the “high standard” of the administration.

“The bottom line is, (Southworth) was an at-will employee, and I lost all confidence in her ability to faithfully serve the people of the Commonwealth,” he said.