Update: Rep. Patti Minter comments on findings after serving on KY house impeachment committee

Published: Feb. 22, 2021 at 5:46 PM CST
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP/WBKO) - A legislative panel took no action Monday on impeachment petitions pending against Kentucky’s governor and attorney general.

“Ultimately, the committee as outlined in the report, makes it clear that disagreeing with a sitting governor is not an impeachable offense,” Representative Patti Minter said.

To read the report and recommendation on the petition against Governor Andy Beshear click here.

To read the report and recommendation on the petition against Attorney General Daniel Cameron click here.

The committee chairman, Rep. Jason Nemes, said the petitions were discussed during an executive session but the panel reached “no final resolution.” Nemes didn’t immediately schedule another meeting.

Two citizen’s petitions against Gov. Andy Beshear have been dismissed but another is pending stemming from his coronavirus-related orders.

Another petition calls for Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s impeachment.

That petition includes grand jurors who criticized his handling of the investigation into Breonna Taylor’s shooting death. Beshear and Cameron say the petitions against them are meritless.

Representative Patti Minter said if you disagree with either of these officials there are three things that can happen to make a change other than impeachment.

“One, the legislature can pass laws, which it has. I have not supported any of the laws that seek to strip the governor’s powers, but a majority of the General Assembly did do that,” Minter said.

“Second, is the court system, and in fact, the legislation that the General Assembly passed...trying to strip the governor for his emergency powers is now in the court system, so the courts will make a decision on that. The third remedy is the one that the people have in their hands. If you don’t like what someone’s doing, then the remedy is at the ballot box at the next election.”

Not only is Patti a state representative, but she is also a history professor at WKU. We asked when the last time an impeachment committee like this was formed in Kentucky.

“The last one was in 1991, in which the General Assembly tried and convicted a sitting commissioner of agriculture who had actually committed a crime,” Minter said. “So he was removed at that point, and prior to that it only happened three other times. So much like we see in the federal government, impeachment is rarely used as a remedy.”

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