FRANKFORT, Ky. (WHAS11) -- A Louisville Republican has filed the first formal complaint against embattled House Speaker Jeff Hoover.
The ethics complaint signed late this afternoon should begin a process that could lead to the removal of the top-ranking Kentucky GOP House member following a secret sexual harassment settlement.
32nd District Representative Phil Moffett confirmed that he filed the complaint before the House adjourned late Jan. 3 but he would not comment on why he chose to take the action.
We ran into Speaker Jeff Hoover before the session began and he said he would not be commenting until afterward. But as lawmakers began to leave, he was nowhere in sight.
In November Jeff Hoover said he would resign his leadership role in light of the sexual harassment scandal but Tuesday it became apparent that he was going to let an ethics investigation play out before making any move.
The "23A" filing signed by Phil Moffett is the first since a new rule went into place yesterday sending the complaint to a panel of three Republicans and three Democrats to investigate before any push to expel a lawmaker can proceed.
Louisville Republican Representative Jerry Miller chairs the committee that the investigating panel will report under. The 36th District Representative Miller said he was not surprised by the filing. When asked how long he thinks the process will take, he responded, “Actually I've not been involved in this since it broke so I first have to get up to speed with the state of the Legislative Ethics Commission investigation because they're the one with subpoena power there of the ones that could get the documents.”
House Floor Minority Leader Rocky Adkins will have to select the three Democrats to serve on the investigative panel.
“You know, it's a cloud over this chamber,” said Leader Adkins, “and that's the reason that our Democratic membership, our caucus, believes in the best interest that the Speaker Hoover should step aside.”
Just after 5 p.m. Jan. 3, Speaker Hoover released a statement to WHAS11 Political Editor Chris Williams, it read:
“I have not seen nor read the complaint so I cannot comment on it. But I'm not surprised by the filing. Phil wanted to be Governor and was defeated, and he has wanted to be Speaker since he got here and has been vocal about that. He has been working with this small group of legislators and the executive branch for weeks in their collective effort to harm me. So, I'm not surprised. But, neither he nor the filing of his complaint can't touch my faith, and my family and lots and lots of friends still support me, and i will not let this take away my joy.”