Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear is vowing to keep up his fight against pension reforms passed by the General Assembly this year. The Democrat is calling a recent move to disqualify the judge overseeing the case a stalling tactic by the Bevin administration.
Requests by Bevin attorney Steve Pitt seeking to disqualify or remove the attorney general and the judge in the pension reform case have so far been overruled. The governor also unsuccessfully sought depositions from representatives of the plaintiffs.
In May, Bevin took to 55KRC radio with harsh words for Franklin Circuit Judge Philip Shepherd, whom he accused of partisanship and incompetence.
"I now have the most incompetent hack of a judge, I don't know if Kentucky, but certainly one of the worst," the governor told the Brian Thomas show. "He's a former Democrat operative. He used to be in a previous Democrat administration as an appointee. Now he happens to be a quote unquote judge, but the law, and following the law, is of little regard to him."
Friday, Beshear posted a video update on social media, pledging to see the case through on behalf of teachers and public employees who feel uncertain about the future of their retirements.
"If you do the legal thing, you don't try to get rid of your opponent and the judge in the proceeding that you're in," the attorney general charged, adding that the governor has "done everything he can to prevent an ultimate decision or to delay that decision."
Bevin’s attorney had argued the judge could have a financial stake in the outcome because of his membership in the state judicial retirement system. Shepherd ruled Thursday that judicial pensions are not a factor in the case.
Oral arguments are scheduled for June 7th.