Kevin Wheatley

Kevin Wheatley is a Video Journalist for Spectrum News and covers Kentucky politics and all the goings-on at the State Capitol. Kevin was born and raised in Frankfort so he grew up around politics and has always had the drive to follow the political process and hold lawmakers accountable. Before joining Spectrum News Kevin covered government and politics for The State Journal in Frankfort. You can watch Kevin’s work weeknights at 7:00 and 11:30 on Pure Politics, available exclusively on Spectrum News, HD Channels 403 and 715. You can reach him at or 502-792-1135.

Board of Elections replaces recently fired exective director, assistant director

11/22/2017 10:46 AM

The State Board of Elections has hired replacements for two staffers fired last month, one of whom raised possible ethics violations against Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes with the Executive Branch Ethics Commission. The board voted 4-1, with one abstention, to hire Jared Smelser-Dearing as its new executive director and Jennifer Scutchfield as its new assistant director on Tuesday. Smelser-Dearing serves as a legislative aide for the Louisville Metro Council and on the boards for the Louisville Coalition for the Homeless... Read more 

Secretary of state's medical marijuana task force hears from patients, advocates in first meeting

11/21/2017 06:24 PM

FRANKFORT — Facing PTSD and a laundry list of other ailments after two and a half tours of duty in Iraq, U.S. Army veteran Eric Pollack said Tuesday that the pharmaceutical medications he’d been prescribed to deal with those issues weren’t doing the trick. He found himself armed with a shotgun, ready to pull the trigger on himself. “And it wasn’t all that long ago,” Pollack said during a meeting of Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes’ medical marijuana task force. “My... Read more 

Rep. Wayne says he hopes Legislative Ethics Commission finds answers in sexual harassment settlement

11/18/2017 05:34 PM

State Representative Jim Wayne has two primary questions he wants answered in the sexual harassment settlement that caused former House Speaker Jeff Hoover to step down from leadership, and he hopes the Legislative Ethics Commission can answer them: what happened and how was the undisclosed settlement paid? Wayne filed a complaint with the Legislative Ethics Commission on Wednesday, and although House Republican leaders have launched their own independent investigation into the matter, the Louisville Democrat says the ethics commission has far... Read more 

Analysis of proposed pension reform at KTRS shouldn't "be surprising to anybody that understands how these proposals work," head of KCEP says

11/17/2017 03:06 PM

As the calendar draws closer to the end of the year, policymakers are still cobbling together a pension reform proposal ahead of a possible special session before lawmakers return to Frankfort in 2018 to write a two-year spending plan. Last week, the Kentucky Teachers Retirement System released an actuarial report that showed the state would need to funnel an additional $4.4 billion into the pension system if the reform proposal is passed as written and that the system would be 71... Read more 

After toddler finds guns and shoots self in Louisville, advocate hopes lawmakers take action on gun safety legislation

11/16/2017 05:06 PM

On Monday, a 3-year-old toddler accidently shot himself in the head after he found a loaded gun in his family’s car as his dad shopped for a used car in Louisville. He’s not the only child who has accidentally shot himself after finding a firearm, and Luther Brown, executive officer of Board 4 Change and founder of the Little Hands Little Feet gun safety program, says he hopes such regrettable incidents will be a thing of the past. Brown supports legislation pre-filed... Read more 

No tax dollars used in sexual harassment settlement, LRC director says

11/16/2017 03:24 PM

UPDATED The sexual harassment settlement reached by former House Speaker Jeff Hoover and others with a legislative staffer was not paid with tax dollars, Legislative Research Commission Director David Byerman said Thursday. “No taxpayer dollars have been used to pay any settlement claim in this matter, or in any such matter in my two years as Director of the Legislative Research Commission,” Byerman said in a statement. “Controls are in place that require proper authorization before any disbursements are made from any... Read more 

Rep. Jim Wayne files complaint, asks Legislative Ethics Commission to investigate sexual harassment settlement

11/15/2017 05:39 PM

A Democratic lawmaker filed a complaint with the Legislative Ethics Commission Wednesday, asking the panel to investigate a confidential sexual harassment settlement that prompted former House Speaker Jeff Hoover to resign from his leadership post. Hoover, R-Jamestown, admitted to reaching a settlement with a former legislative staffer as he resigned, but he said their communications via text message were consensual and that he and others named admitted no wrongdoing as part of the agreement. GOP Reps. Jim DeCesare, Brian Linder and... Read more 

Kentucky's Medicaid waiver application "real closer" to approval, state Medicaid commissioner says

11/15/2017 04:06 PM

The head of Kentucky’s Department for Medicaid Services told lawmakers Wednesday that the state is “real closer” to getting federal approval for its 1115 Medicaid waiver program dubbed Kentucky HEALTH. It’s been more than a year since officials submitted the waiver application, but Steve Miller, commissioner of the Department for Medicaid Services, said he’s optimistic that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will give Kentucky the OK to proceed with their proposal ahead of the anticipated July 1 rollout. “We’ve gone... Read more 

Former House Speaker Jeff Hoover released from hospital and recovering

11/14/2017 04:06 PM

Rep. Jeff Hoover, the former speaker of Kentucky’s House of Representatives who resigned the post after revealing that he signed a confidential sexual harassment settlement with a staffer, is home recovering after suffering a heart-related issue last week. House Speaker Pro Tem David Osborne said in a statement Tuesday that Hoover, R-Jamestown, “has been released from the hospital and is doing well,” according to his family. “At this time, his family still requests privacy as he recovers at home.” Osborne, R-Prospect, announced Hoover’s... Read more 

Updating various vehicular fees could be part of House work group's funding proposal, co-chairmen of panel say

11/14/2017 03:54 PM

FRANKFORT – The working group tasked with examining funding woes within the state’s road fund will likely request raising various registration and licensing fees that haven’t been touched in decades, the co-chairmen of the panel said Tuesday after a presentation by the Transportation Cabinet. Those and changes to the gas tax could be proposed by the group ahead of next year’s budget-writing session, in which lawmakers will also cobble together a two-year road plan for highway construction throughout the state. “It looks... Read more