Lt. Gov. Hampton reacts to firing of top aide by Bevin administration

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Lt. Governor Jenean Hampton says Governor Matt Bevin’s chief of staff “clearly overstepped his boundaries” when he had one of her top aides fired.

Blake Brickman says he authorized the firing of Hampton’s deputy chief of staff, Adrienne Southworth, saying she “repeatedly demonstrated poor judgment.”

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The firing last month prompted Hampton to send out a tweet praising Southworth’s work as “stellar” and asking for prayers in her fight against “dark forces.”

Back in January, the Bevin administration fired Hampton’s chief of staff, Steve Knipper, prompting Hampton to file a document with the secretary of state’s office saying she was appointing Knipper back to the position.

In her statement Tuesday, Hampton questioned Brickman’s authority to fire members of her staff.

“Every Kentuckian should be concerned that an unelected bureaucrat appears to have power over the office of the Lieutenant Governor, a constitutional officer duly elected by the people of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. I am perplexed by the vacuous decision to deprive an active, productive Lieutenant Governor of her staff,” Hampton says.

She adds: “But after watching politics for over 45 years, I am not surprised by the false allegations and character attacks which have ensued.”

Hampton says Southworth will continue to assist her and will track her time “manually until she is back in the personnel system.”

She also says she is pursuing action to reinstate her staff soon.