Our investigation found that the legislative commission that looked into Rep. Jeff Hoover’s alleged ethics violations knew about the woman’s claims of unwanted touching, but didn’t publicly discuss them or seriously investigate the veracity of the claim.
Former Rep. Brad Montell’s name was not associated with the sexual harassment scandal until KyCIR reported on the contents of the deposition. The woman said Montell made a sexually suggestive remark when she asked him to donate to a candidate she was working for.
The Kentucky Democratic Party is calling for Republican state Reps. Jeff Hoover and Michael Meredith to resign in the wake of an investigation published Tuesday detailing testimony by a former staffer alleging sexual harassment by the lawmakers. The woman alleged that Hoover sexually assaulted her more than 50 times, and that Meredith screamed vulgar comments at her. The woman, identified in some court records as Jane Doe, made the allegations in a sealed deposition obtained by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting and Kentucky Public Radio. In the 270-page document, the woman alleged that Hoover repeatedly groped her without her consent throughout her employment with the House Republican Caucus between 2015 and 2017.
Before Hector Fonseca was accused of sexual harassment at work — a claim that an internal investigation did not substantiate — judges had twice issued protective orders against him for domestic violence allegations.
“[T]he public has a right to know if the internal investigation was thorough, unbiased, and competent, or whether it was a ‘cover up’ of misconduct based on personal or political favoritism,” Shepherd wrote in his ruling on the Labor Cabinet.