Lt. Gov Jenean Hampton files lawsuit against Gov. Bevin over fired staffers

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton has filed a lawsuit against Gov. Matt Bevin in an effort to restore employment to two staff members.

Kentucky Republican Lt. Gubernatorial candidate Jenean Hampton, left, looks on as her running mate, Gubernatorial candidate Matt Bevin, addresses their supporters from the steps of the Bevin campaign headquarters in Somerset Ky., Friday, Aug. 21, 2015. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

Court records show Hampton filed the lawsuit in Franklin Circuit Court Thursday.

The Bevin administration has dismissed two of Hampton's staffers in recent months. Hampton argues she has control over her personnel as a duly-elected constitutional officer.

Hampton's chief of staff Steve Knipper was terminated January 29 without cause, and Hampton attempted to use her constitutional power on the same day to reappoint him. Administrative assistant Adrienne Southworth was terminated without cause May 30. Hampton sent a letter to the Office of Administrative Services directing it to reinstate Southworth the same day.

The lawsuit disputes the Bevin administration's claim that the two staffers served the governor's office.

Bevin communications director Elizabeth Kuhn released a statement following the lawsuit being filed.

“The matter is currently before the personnel board, and it is inappropriate for a lawsuit to be filed before the board issues its decision. We will move for immediate dismissal of the complaint," Kuhn said.

Hampton has asked for the court to expedite the hearing of an action for a declaratory judgment.

Hampton Lawsuit by WKYT on Scribd

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