Kentucky Attorney General Will Sue Bevin Over U of L Actions

Jun 22, 2016

Credit Rob Canning, WKMS

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. In both cases, Bevin said the moves were made to achieve a “fresh start.”

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.

Previous governors have also reorganized boards and commissions by executive order, but
the University of Louisville reorganization came after years of turmoil on the school’s Board of Trustees. A faction of trustees sought the removal of U of L President James Ramsey, accusing him of being paid too much and improperly leading both the school and the foundation that manages its endowment.

Bevin abolished the school’s board, removing all 17 appointees, and reinstated it with an interim board made up of three trustees. In the coming weeks, Bevin has said he will appoint trustees to a new 10-person board.

The reorganization of the Kentucky Retirement Systems board came after Bevin replaced the board chair, Tommy Elliott, who then refused to step down. Bevin sent state troopers to keep Elliott from participating in an official KRS meeting, at which point Elliott sat in the audience.

The KRS board has been criticized for its management of pension assets. The most under-supplied fund managed by KRS has just 17 percent of the money it needs to make future payments.