FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky's lieutenant governor says she has never talked with Gov. Matt Bevin about his administration's dismissal of two of her top staffers without her consent.
Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton on Friday challenged Bevin's comments in June in which he tried to play down a feud between himself and Hampton, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.
The Republic governor dropped Hampton from his reelection ticket early this year, instead choosing state Sen. Ralph Alvarado as his running mate. Bevin is being challenged in November by Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear.
Bevin told reporters in June that he has a "great relationship" with Hampton and had talked to her within the last week. He said neither one of them has said "one bad word" about the other.
"Did the governor really say that? Do you stand by your story?" Hampton asked a Herald-Leader reporter during a brief interview Friday.
"I take issue with that," she said. "Look, I did not talk to him. I've never talked with him about the dismissals. My staff has not been treated right and I stand by my staff."
Hampton did not describe her relationship with Bevin.
"I'm just letting the Lord guide me," she said.
Her comments came as the state Personnel Board voted to recognize her request to intervene in the dismissal appeal of her chief of staff, Steve Knipper. Hampton attended the board meeting. Bevin later said Friday that he was fine with the board's decision.
Bevin's administration fired Knipper in January for his refusal to follow its policy of leaving state government when he decided to run in May's Republican primary election for secretary of state. He was unsuccessful in the election.
Bevin's administration then fired Adrienne Southworth, Hampton's deputy chief of staff, in May. Southworth said she didn't know why she was fired but that she had been investigating Knipper's dismissal.
Southworth also has appealed her dismissal to the Personnel Board.
Information from: Lexington Herald-Leader, http://www.kentucky.com