Attorney General Andy Beshear says focus should be on the victim in House sexual harassment allegations

11/06/2017 02:55 PM

FRANKFORT – Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear says that attention needs to focus on the victim, not politics, in wake of a confidential sexual harassment settlement which led to Rep. Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown, resigning from his position as Speaker of the House.

Beshear said that too much of the coverage is politically focused, while his office wants to take a victim centered approach.

“At least the allegations suggest that there is a victim out there who was either led to believe or told that she needed to engage in sexually explicit texts or talk to further her career,” Beshear said. “That is wrong. It shouldn’t occur anywhere, in any workplace, at any time.”

Beshear believes that the House situation is the latest reminder of a big problem in the Commonwealth of Kentucky which needs attention, and that is sexual abuse of all kinds.

“We in Kentucky have a rape culture, nearly one in two Kentucky women will be subjected to some form of sexual violence in their lifetime and that’s before we even get to harassment,” Beshear said. “We have a problem in Kentucky and across this country, and the fact that people are being more vocal, that people are being held accountable, is a good thing.”

Beshear’s office is also keeping a close eye on any possible whistleblower retaliation in the House situation.

“There has not been enough transparency in this situation, so we’re closely monitoring any or all information that comes out,” Beshear said.

Another area Beshear is closely monitoring is the pension reform bill which has taken a back seat in recent days due to the House investigation.

The Attorney General believes that the bill, in its current form, will not work and if adopted, could and will likely cause his office to take legal action.

“We will analyze any pension bill that’s put forward and pension bill which breaks the promise and breaks the inviolable contract, whoever passes that should expect lawsuits from many places, including this office,” Beshear said.

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