Lawmakers focusing on getting back to work following leadership turmoil

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - More details of the independent investigation into a sexual harassment scandal that has rocked Frankfort are expected to be released later this week.

Lawmakers say they are trying to put their focus back on the state's pension crisis; this, as the House deals with a change in leadership.

Representative Jeff Hoover stepped down from his role as Speaker of the House on Sunday. A former staff member who has since resigned accused Hoover of sexual harassment. The 83rd District representative said he made mistakes in engaging in inappropriate text messages. However, he says he did not commit harassment.

In addition to Hoover, WKYT has learned some other elected officials and state employees also face accusations. An outside law firm is conducting an independent review of the claims. The FBI has confirmed it is also looking into the allegations.

Speaker pro tem David Osborne is taking the reins of the house following Hoover's resignation from the post. House Minority Leader Rocky Adkins sent a letter to Osborne on Tuesday urging them to allow the Legislative Research Commission to decide who the third party investigators should be to look into the allegations. Adkins asked Osborne to respond by 5:00 p.m. Wednesday.

That letter was presented to the media as House majority leaders met with Senate leaders on Tuesday to discuss pension reform.

Senate Majority Leader Robert Stivers said even though they've had a few setbacks, lawmakers have been meeting.

The governor has asked for a special session for pension reform.

"There is still time between now and the regular session," said Senator Robert Stivers. "I'm a realist, and I try to be candid about things I say. It won't be easy to do it."

There is no word yet on how the investigation and leadership changes will impact that progress.

"We are going to have to assess what types of disruptions there are in the process based on the events of last week and early this week. I can't gauge those because I'm not part of them."

Stivers still believes they can hammer out a pension solution before the regular session.

"Can we do it? Yes. Is it time to call it off? No. Will it be difficult to do it between now and the regular session beginning in January? Yes," Stivers said.

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