AG: Kentucky teacher sickout subpoenas are illegal

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Kentucky’s attorney general is demanding Governor Matt Bevin and the state’s Labor Cabinet rescind subpoenas calling for the names of teachers involved in sickout protests at the state capitol this year.

Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear said Tuesday he’s giving the Bevin administration and the Labor Cabinet 10 days to rescind the subpoenas that were recently sent to several school districts.

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If they don’t comply, Beshear said he’ll take them to court.

Jefferson, Fayette, Madison, Bullitt, Oldham, Boyd and Carter county school districts have all received subpoenas.

“The subpoenas here are not lawful. And that’s because what teachers were engaged in is protected speech,” Beshear said.



Some school districts were forced to cancel classes while teachers attended rallies in Frankfort.

Beshear said the subpoenas were issued by the Labor Cabinet as part of a “supposed inquiry into possible violations of labor law.”

Teachers could be fined $1,000 for the violations.

“The governor and his administration are directly threatening teachers in an attempt to keep them from exercising their constitutional rights,” said Beshear. “These ‘sickout’ subpoenas represent another abuse of power by the governor and they must be rescinded.”

This is the latest issue Beshear and Bevin have squared off over.

Beshear is one of four Democrats running for governor.

Bevin is seeking reelection.