Kentucky House Speaker Jeff Hoover has resigned from his post after revelations showed he’d made a confidential settlement in a sexual harassment case.
Last week, an anonymous source reported that Kentucky House Speaker Jeff Hoover reached a confidential settlement with a woman alleging sexual harassment.
The woman was apparently a member of Hoover’s legislative staff. Her claims of maltreatment dated back to 2016.
Apparently the process was dealt with swiftly – the anonymous source claims that the woman’s lawyer sent a letter to Hoover two weeks ago. Within a matter of days, a confidential settlement had been arranged between both parties.
The Kentucky-based Courier Journal claims that the terms of the settlement haven’t been made public, and were not disclosed by its source.
Hoover declined to give any information to the press.
When asked, he simply said, “No comment.”
The same sentiment was apparently shared by the woman accusing Hoover of harassment. She also said “I have no comment” when approached by reporters.
The Courier-Journal names the attorney who settled the matter as Thomas Clay of Louisville, KY.
Described by the paper as an “aggressive litigator,” Clay has dealt with a “number of high profile cases in recent years, including winning a $400,000 settlement in 2015 on behalf of three women who worked in the state Legislative Research Commission, which provides staff to legislators. The settlement was related to a sexual harassment scandal involving Kentucky House Democrats.”
The allegations against Hoover apparently stemmed from an anonymous user on Twitter, who questioned why the “#familyman” legislator was trying to conceal the details of the affair.
Several text messages forwarded from the source to the Courier-Journal show Hoover and the woman engaging in “sexually suggestive banter,” followed by the politician’s requests that she sent nude photographs.
The Courier-Journal says the woman appeared to consent to the conversation – because she’d been told that keeping Hoover happy was the only way to forward her career.
The exchange shows Hoover asking that she sent pictures of herself in a “black g-string” – a request that was apparently obliged, with then-House Minority Leader Hoover lamenting that she’d covered up “the good parts.”
None of the messages seem particularly forced, with the woman even asking Hoover if he’d “come over” if he wasn’t her boss.
Nevertheless, the scandal is likely to blight Hoover’s reputation.
On Twitter, he describes himself as a devoted husband and “sinner saved by God’s grace.”
In 2015, three women settled with Kentucky Democrats, claiming they’d faced abuse and sexual harassment while interning with several legislators.
They claim to have been subjected to “unwanted touching” and uncomfortable sexual advances.
Rep. John Arnold, of Union County, KY, was found guilty of violating the state legislature’s code of ethics.