Attorney General Andy Beshear is suing Gov. Matt Bevin for abolishing and then reinstating the boards of trustees of both the University of Louisville and Kentucky Retirement Systems, the state agency that manages the pensions of most state employees.
Bevin appointed new members and changed the number of seats on each panel on Friday. In both cases, Bevin said the moves were made to achieve a “fresh start.”
On Wednesdy, Beshear said Bevin had overstepped his power.
“The opportunity for abuse of power here is evident, and it’s scary,” Beshear said.
Bevin has reorganized several boards in recent months, including the Kentucky Horse Park Commission, Kentucky Racing Commission and the Workers’ Compensation Nominating Commission. A group of labor unions and injured workers have sued Bevin for his overhaul of the workers’ compensation board, which nominates administrative law judges to oversee workers’ compensation cases.
Beshear said he would seek a temporary restraining order to block Bevin’s changes while the case makes its way through the courts.
“The decisions that are up before the University of Louisville Board of Trustees are too important for them to be made by an illegally constituted board,” Beshear said. They include passage of a university budget — which is likely to include tuition increases — for the next fiscal year, which starts July 1.
The following statement came from the governor’s Communications Director Jessica Ditto:
“Six short months ago, Attorney General, Andy Beshear, personally selected as his top law enforcement deputy a lawyer who recently pled guilty to federal bribery charges. Since then, Attorney General Beshear has attempted to change the subject by filing frivolous lawsuits and traveling around the state handing out fake checks for funds he had no role in securing.
“His filings today are, once again, purely political in nature. Sadly, this court room circus act is what the people of Kentucky have come to expect from him. It is more than a little hypocritical, however, considering that Attorney General Andy Beshear’s own father relied on the exact same statutory authority to reorganize similar organizations in state government more than 100 times in eight years. Governor Bevin’s executive orders stand on solid legal ground.
“Governor Bevin will continue to do the job he was elected to do. Attorney General Beshear’s frivolous political lawsuits will not deter the Bevin Administration from working to fix Kentucky’s economy, protect the pensions of teachers and state workers, and clean up the mess and corruption left behind by the previous administration.”