House speaker has "full support" of caucus following harassment allegations

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP/WKYT) - Kentucky's House Republicans met privately on Friday afternoon. While leadership said they did not discuss the future of House Speaker Jeff Hoover, they did say Hoover has their full support right now.

The state's largest newspaper reported that Hoover settled a sexual harassment claim by a member of his staff outside of court.

The Courier-Journal reported those allegations Thursday evening based on anonymous sources. The revelation comes as lawmakers are trying to muster enough votes in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives to pass a bill that would make substantial changes to the state's public pension system.

House Majority Leader Jonathan Shell said after the caucus meeting on Friday that Hoover is still the House Speaker and that he would not address rumors.

“As we leave this caucus today, he has the full support of this caucus right now. He had the confidence to move forward to lead our caucus,” Shell said to members of the media.

Shell also said that the three-hour meeting focused on the pension bill. Shell admitted that not all Republicans agree on the bill, but they are moving toward finding common ground.

Speaking to concerned teachers Thursday night in Somerset, the Herald-Leader reports Hoover told the crowd he will not vote for the pension bill as is.

Wesley Morgan, a state representative representing Madison County, tweeted Friday afternoon that Speaker Hoover says he will not resign and the only option is to now impeach the speaker.

Hoover did not address the media on Friday as he left the meeting.

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