By Kyeland Jackson —
Newly-reinstated U of L Board of Trustees Chair Larry Benz wants trustees to vote on recent acts by Governor Matt Bevin’s appointed board.
Reported by Louisville Business First, Benz announced his plan on the heels of Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Sheperd’s granted injunction against Bevin. The injunction freezes Bevin’s 10-member board until Attorney General Andy Beshear’s case ends. Beshear issued a statement on the decision.
“Today’s court ruling is a win for Kentucky students, their families and our public universities. The governor does not have ‘absolute authority’ to ignore the Constitution and Kentucky law,” Beshear’s statement said.
“I will continue my job of enforcing our Constitution’s separation of powers so that no one branch of government, regardless of who leads it, has absolute power.”
Bevin, who selected the 10-member board, made a statement on the ruling.
“No matter how many times Attorney General Beshear repeats his claim that ‘it’s not politics.’ The fact of the matter is that for him, it’s all politics all the time,” the statement read.
“(Beshear) ignores the law when it comes to protecting a board of trustees that doesn’t even pretend to meet the statutory obligations set forth by the Kentucky General Assembly, including the political party representation. These violations could not have been fixed by filling the old board’s vacancies.”
Regardless of halting Bevin’s board, Sheperd said the negotiated resignation of James Ramsey by the board stands.
Cindy Hess, U of L’s assistant media relations director, said the university has received no official notice of the potential board meeting.
Benz previously stated he expects board members to return if they were reformed. But trustee Bob Hughes said it would be an awkward situation.
“The previously dissolved board to be re-seated would make for an extremely awkward relationship between all of the key groups,” Hughes said.
“Whatever I decide to do personally in the event of this unfortunate possibility will be based upon what is best for UL after consulting with those that have the best interest of the university at heart.”