The Louisville Cardinal

Bevin not backing down in war against BOT

By Brooke Moody–

After causing a dramatic shakeup for the University of Louisville this past summer, Governor Matt Bevin is not ready to end his stake on the U of L Board of Trustees just yet.

Steve Pitt, the governor’s attorney, has requested a reversal of Franklin Circuit Court Judge Phillip Shepherd’s ruling in the suit between Bevin and Attorney General Andy Beshear, WDRB reported.

On Sept. 28, Shepherd ruled in favor of Beshear’s suit against Bevin’s dismantlement of U of L’s Board of Trustees. Beshear argued that Bevin did not have legal authority to demolish the board.

Shepherd’s based his ruling on a law that the governor cannot fire individual trustees.

Pitt responded by arguing that the governor has the authority to abolish an entire board, and because he abolished an entire board and not individuals, his actions were legal.

Refuting Pitt’s reasoning, Assistant Attorney General Mitchel Denham deemed the argument an issue of semantics. “The terms of those trustees that existed prior to the executive order, ended on that day. So, what he did, in effect, was he removed those board members,” Denham said.

Shepherd is expected to make his decision on Bevin’s request quickly, but it is likely the case will be in the Kentucky Supreme Court before it is completely settled.

This unrest began when Bevin made the executive order to overturn the acting board under former president James Ramsey. He then appointed a new board of trustees, but the original board was reinstated when Shepherd ruled that Bevin did not have the legal authority.

Since then, U of L’s original board of trustees officially appointed Neville Pinto as the acting president of the university, among other governing decisions.

The board of trustees continues to meet with five vacancies, awaiting Bevin’s appointments.