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LRC executive director, David A. Byerman, says no public funding in sexual harassment settlement

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Legislative Research Commission Executive Director David A. Byerman issued a statement Thursday that no public funding was used to settle sexual harassment claims during his two years in the position and, in fact, said money could not be spent without approval of the commission in an open meeting.

“Controls are in place that require proper authorization before any disbursements are made from any legislative account,” he said. “Disbursements to settle legal claims can only be made when authorized by the Speaker and President on their joint authority, pending ratification by the full Legislative Research Commission in an open meeting. No such authorization or ratification has occurred in this matter.”

David Byerman

Kentucky Today’s Mark Maynard reports that former House Speaker Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown, resigned his leadership post earlier this month after saying he settled a sexual harassment allegation made by a member of the House GOP Caucus’ staff.

Three other Republican lawmakers were also involved in the settlement.

House GOP leaders hired a law firm to investigate the case but on Wednesday,

Democratic Rep. Jim Layne of Louisville filed a complaint with the Legislation Ethics Commission, asking them to investigate “the funding source for any sexual harassment settlement entered into by lawmakers.”

Hoover resigned his leadership position 10 days ago and the other lawmakers — Rep. Brian Linder of Dry Ridge, Rep. Michael Meredith of Oakland and Rep. Jim DeCesare of Bowling Green — have been removed as committee chairmen.

Gov. Matt Bevin made a call for any politician involved in a sexual harassment claim to resign but none have so far.

House Republican leaders have not publicly announced any staffing changes since Hoover resigned his leadership position.

House Speaker Pro Tempore David Osborne, R-Prospect, said he expects to get a preliminary investigative report around Nov. 20.

From Kentucky Today and staff reports

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