Bevin seeks to disqualify Beshear in pension lawsuit

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration is seeking to disqualify Attorney General Andy Beshear and his office from participating in a lawsuit filed last week over recent pension reform.

The motion filed Tuesday in Franklin Circuit Court alleges Beshear has a conflict of interest, because he provided legal advice to Kentucky lawmakers on Senate Bill 151. It includes pictures from Twitter of Beshear meeting with House and Senate Democratic leaders “to discuss legal options on pension bill” and speaking at a rally at the Capitol protesting the bill’s passage.

The motion alleges Beshear can’t, in his capacity as Kentucky’s attorney general, provide legal advice on a matter to lawmakers and then sue those lawmakers.

From the lawsuit:

“The Attorney General must be disqualified from prosecuting this case because he and his office are prohibited by the Kentucky Rules of Professional Conduct from bringing suit against the Commonwealth regarding the passage and execution of SB 151. The bottom line here is that the Attorney General provided legal advice to the Defendants regarding these exact issues. As a result, he is ethically prohibited from suing the Defendants over this same issue.”

Beshear announced he would sue over the pension bill on March 30,a day after it passed in a late-night legislative session.

“They plopped a 291 page bill in front of lawmakers and made them vote on it without reading it,” Beshear said in a video. “And they didn’t even have the required actuarial analysis which would tell you and me whether it would even work, whether it would save a dime.”

In a statement, Beshear said “I stand with and am fighting for teachers, police officers, firefighters, social workers and other public servants. Gov. Bevin has filed this type of motion before and the courts have rejected it every time.”