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Dueling Lawsuits June 24, 2016 by Richard Nelson

Gov. Bevin's first six months in office have been marked by lawsuit after lawsuit. First it was Attorney General Andy Beshear who sued over budget cuts to Kentucky Universities. Then it was House Speaker Greg Stumbo who sued over the Governor's vetoes, then the governor drew another lawsuit over reorganizing the boards of workers compensation and state pension system. Now the University of Louisville Board of Trustees is being reorganized in the wake of several scandals recently documented by the Louisville Courier-Journal.  The Courier-Journal paints a picture of a culture of corruption that extends throughout several schools and programs. Yet AG Beshear announced another lawsuit just days ago.

Governor Bevin is relying on a state statute that allows him to replace and reorganize the boards. KRS 12.028 permits the governor to “create, alter, or abolish” executive branch boards and commissions. According to State Rep. Phil Moffett "Democratic and Republican governors used this statute to abolish and re-create various boards and commissions for decades – 357 times in the past 25 years, including 103 times during the eight years of former Gov. Steve Beshear’s administration."  Another statute allows him to replace board members for malfeasance--a case that can be made after U of L Board of Trustees failed to reign in President James Ramsey and bring accountibility amidst the scandals.

Some speculate the Beshears are fighting so hard because 17 board members contributed $750,000 to Beshear political campaigns over the years. Kentucky has been plagued by inefficiencies and what some have called "pay to play" politics for years. This has been met firmly by  Governor Bevin's resolve to challenge business as usual. He's ruffling feathers and governing in a nonconventional way but Frankfort's power structure is being challenged and so far Gov. Bevin has had two lawsuits gone in his favor. 



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