A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Petition filed with state House asks for impeachment of Gov. Beshear for actions related to the pandemic

Staff report

Four “citizens of the Commonwealth” have filed a petition with the Kentucky House of Representatives asking for the impeachment of Governor Andy Beshear over the handling of his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The House has set up a committee to consider the petition, as required by law.

Gov. Andy Beshear

K.R.S. § 63.030 provides:

(1) Any person may, by written petition to the House of Representatives, signed by himself, verified by his own affidavit and the affidavits of such others as he deems necessary, and setting forth the facts, pray the impeachment of any officer.

(2) The House shall refer the petition to a committee, with power to send for persons and papers, to report thereon.

House Speaker David Osborne told a reporter that the law requires that the committee act but “the action can be nothing.”

The petitioners included Jacob Clark of Grayson County, Tony Wheatley of Mercer County, Randall Daniel of Bullitt County and Andrew Cooperrider of Fayette County.

Several affidavits are attached to the petition. One of those is signed by Robert Linton of Independence.

The petition outlines eight alleged violations of Kentucky law and the Kentucky and U.S. Constitutions including but not limited to ordering the closure of nonessential businesses, imposing a travel ban, expanding voting procedures, closing schools, restricting in-person religious services, and acting without involving the legislature.

See the full petition here.

The Kentucky Supreme Court unanimously ruled in November that Beshear’s executive orders during the pandemic were legal and “necessary.”

Beshear spokeswoman Crystal Staley released this statement: “This action is silly and completely unjustified. The Kentucky Supreme Court ruled every step the Governor has taken is legal. But more concerning, this is the type of dangerous, angry rhetoric and disinformation that led to Wednesday’s attack on the U.S. Capitol and our very democracy. People are watching and listening. Everyone has a duty to be responsible.”

In upholding the governor’s orders, the Kentucky Supreme Court said Beshear properly declared a state of emergency, used his emergency powers and, because his orders and regulations were not arbitrary, did not violate the state constitution. 

“The Governor’s orders were, and continue to be, necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and safety of all Kentucky citizens,” the Supreme Court’s ruling said. “This type of highly contagious etiological hazard is precisely the type of emergency that requires a statewide response and properly serves as a basis for the Governor’s actions under” state law.

In a press conference last week, Beshear said there were “zero” grounds for his removal and he didn’t expect the petition to go anywhere.

Other petitions, having similar complaints, have been in the works. A petition at change.org started by A.J. Sanders has 35,054 signatures and another at votervoice.net by the American Family Association of Kentucky. The AFA also promoted the January 6 March for Trump in Washington and the removal of Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer.

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  1. Ruth Bamberger says:

    This is unfortunate. I hope the action of the Committee hearing the petition is “do nothing.”
    The state can ill afford to get into an impeachment over the governor’s emergency measures. That controversy has been settled by the state Supreme Court

  2. Donna Hoover says:

    This is a shame. Andy has only true to help Kentucky, we wouldn’t have almost 4000 that has passed, if they would had listen and helped keep everyone safe. This petition should be trashed. Keep up the good work Andy.

  3. Marv Dunn says:

    Am I missing something here. Four people can demand an impeachment and the Legislature has to take it seriously?

  4. Joe S. says:

    This is how we keep politicians accountable.
    The process is there for a reason and wouldn’t be activated unless it needed to (which it does) by other elected officials.
    Andy needs to be held accountable and think about his actions. His entire term and plan is to give the teachers as many handouts as possible to buy more votes for his next election. His priorities are using tax payer money to make teachers happy so he gets re-elected. It’s really that simple. The hard part is, those tax dollars come from private business, which recently he has done nothing to help, so again this is same old politics of ramping up the state deficit to pay government employees who contribute little to the betterment of private business in order for a politician to get votes. Which again private business is the only thing that keeps the state afloat, or any economy of any scale for that matter.
    Educate yourselves people!

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