Kentucky House Speaker Resigns Leadership Position After Settling Sexual Harassment Claims

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – Kentucky’s Republican House speaker has resigned his leadership position after acknowledging he settled sexual harassment claims from one of his staffers last month.

Jeff Hoover announced his decision Sunday. He denied sexually harassing the staff member. He did say that he sent inappropriate text messages that were consensual.

Hoover’s wife and two of his three daughters were in the room as he spoke.

Hoover says he will remain in the legislature. House Speaker Pro Tempore David Osborne will become the acting speaker.

The announcement comes as Gov. Matt Bevin is trying to push through changes to the state’s troubled pension system. Hoover had said he would not vote for Bevin’s bill without changes.

Hoover has been speaker since January when Republicans took control for the first time in nearly a century.