Stumbo appoints panel to investigate Gov. Matt Bevin

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ/AP) – The Democratic speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives has appointed a bipartisan committee to investigate whether the state’s Republican governor broke the law in his quest to convince lawmakers to switch parties.

The Brannon Crossing Road Project was approved by the Beshear Administration in December 2015 but was later delayed by Bevin’s Administration. After Governor Matt Bevin took office, Rep. Russ Meyer, D-Nicholasville, says he was approached by the Governor to switch parties. When he refused, Meyer claims he was threatened by Bevin and the road project was delayed.

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Greg Stumbo told reporters Wednesday the committee will have the power to subpoena witnesses and will submit its report to the legislature before it reconvenes in January.

“It is a committee to find out what the facts are and why these actions occurred,” said Stumbo during a news conference.

Bevin’s Chief of Staff Blake Brickman called the inquiry a “political farce.” He pointed to a voicemail Stumbo left for a Republican state representative saying the allegations against Bevin are “probably not as bad as maybe it was portrayed.”

Two Democratic lawmakers have said Bevin threatened retaliation if they did not switch parties. Brickman “categorically denied” that ever happened.

The election, which will determine which party controls the House, is Nov. 8.