UPDATE: Employee fired over role in hanging effigy of governor; Beshear comments

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Gov. Andy Beshear hesitated Wednesday when asked during his daily briefing for comment on the fact a man had lost his job for his role in the hanging of an effigy of he governor from a tree on the lawn of the Governor’s Mansion Sunday.

But after hesitating, Beshear did respond.

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“You don’t just in a moment decide to walk across the law of the Governor’s Mansion, you don’t just in a moment go on the porch and shout for them to come out, you don’t just in a moment make a mannequin with a person’s face on it,” Beshear said.

“Decisions have consequences, I hope we all make better decisions,” Beshear said, adding he hoped the incident has offered some lessons to all groups.

ORIGINAL STORY POSTED TUESDAY, MAY 26

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – An employee of the Neil Huffman Auto Group was fired for alleged involvement in hanging an effigy of Governor Andy Beshear in a tree near the State Capitol on Sunday.

It occurred during what was billed as a protest rally in defense of constitutional rights, including the right to bear arms.

The auto group has a dealership in Frankfort where the rally was held.

Shannon Huffman, Human Resources Manager at the Neil Huffman Auto Group, released the following statement.

“The Neil Huffman Auto Group does not condone threats of violence in any form, whether they be a call to action or an implied threat. Following an internal investigation of this matter, the employee was terminated. There is no place for hate or intolerance at any of our dealerships.”

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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.