Judge denies Gov. Bevin's request to vacate UofL board of trustees ruling

10/21/2016 11:19 AM

UPDATED — In a decision released Friday, Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd has refused to vacate his ruling stating the governor can’t abolish and replace the University of Louisville’s board of trustees.

Shepherd ruled last month that Gov. Matt Bevin had exceeded his authority in abolishing and revamping the University of Louisville board in June, a decision Bevin sought to have the same judge overturn.

In an 11-page ruling released early Friday, Shepherd struck down the four primary grounds Bevin’s lawyers sought to vacate the court’s judgement. The order denying to vacate the ruling found that none of the arguments presented provide a basis to set aside or amend the original judgement in the case.

Bevin’s press secretary, Amanda Stamper, said the governor is “disappointed but not surprised by Judge Shepherd’s ruling.”

“The court continues to ignore binding precedent from the Kentucky Court of Appeals, the plain language of the statute at issue, and a recent opinion from the Office of the Attorney General, that the Governor has authority to propose and temporarily implement the reorganization of the University of Louisville Board of Trustees,” she said in a statement. “Gov. Bevin will certainly file an appeal within the next 30 days.”

The ruling could effectively set a second showdown between Bevin and Attorney General Andy Beshear before the Kentucky Supreme Court.

Beshear called on the governor on Friday to drop any further court action on this case.

“The governor has now been told twice by the court that his reorganization of the University of Louisville Board of Trustees was illegal,” Beshear said in a statement. “With the university’s accreditation at serious risk, it’s time for the governor to drop any further court action and make the five available appointments to the board.

“The students and faculty at U of L deserve to have finality in this case. The governor can give them that by making these appointments.”

Download the full ruling here: 16-CI-738 Order 10-21-16.pdf


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