Jeff Hoover

A woman who accused former House Speaker Jeff Hoover of sexually harassing her is fighting the Republican lawmaker’s claim that she improperly divulged details of a secret non-disclosure settlement she made with him and four others.

Hoover and two other Republican lawmakers filed a lawsuit against the former staffer in Fayette County Circuit Court earlier this year, saying that Marissa Espinosa violated the confidentiality clause in their $110,000 settlement shortly after they signed it on Oct 25, 2017.

A former state legislator told the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting on Monday that she never witnessed inappropriate behavior by Rep. Jeff Hoover, as his accuser has claimed.

In a demand letter, and later during a sworn deposition, a former House staffer said then-Rep. Jill York of Grayson witnessed Hoover and the woman interact during the 2016 legislative session and complained about it to House Republican Communications Director Daisy Olivo.

State Rep. Jeff Hoover and two other Republican lawmakers are suing a former staffer for allegedly violating a confidentiality agreement regarding her allegations of sexual harassment.

State Rep. Jeff Hoover and two others are suing a former staffer for allegedly violating a confidentiality agreement regarding her allegations of sexual harassment.

Hoover, Rep. Michael Meredith of Oakland and former Rep. Jim DeCesare of Bowling Green filed the suit in Fayette Circuit Court on Wednesday, saying that the woman violated the confidentiality agreement shortly after they reached a $110,000 settlement with her, signed on Oct 25, 2017.

The suit alleges that “within minutes of reaching a settlement and executing the settlement agreement,” the then-staffer met her supervisor, Daisy Olivo, and disclosed the settlement.

cincinnati edition
Jim Nolan / WVXU

According to testimony by a former staffer for the Kentucky House Republican caucus, Republican Kentucky Representative Jeff Hoover sexually assaulted her more than 50 times during her employment. The Kentucky Democratic Party is calling for Hoover and another Republican representative, Michael Meredith, to resign. The staffer alleges Meredith screamed vulgar comments at her.

When the woman who would become known as Jane Doe started working for the Kentucky House Republican caucus in 2015, she remembers a senior staffer saying her responsibility was “to keep Jeff Hoover happy.”

At the time, the woman was 21. Ky. Representative Jeff Hoover of Jamestown was the leader of the Republican minority in the state House of Representatives. Within two years, Hoover would become the first Republican speaker of the House in nearly a century.


jeff hoover
Gage Skidmor / Wikimedia Commons

A lawyer for former House Speaker Jeff Hoover and two other Republican lawmakers made the case on Wednesday for sealing a former staffer’s testimony that she was sexually assaulted and harassed by the men.

Former House Speaker Jeff Hoover and two other Republican state lawmakers are trying to prevent the public release of parts of a deposition taken from a former staffer who accused them of sexually harassing her. The deposition is part of a whistleblower lawsuit filed by another staffer who says she was retaliated against for reporting harassment.

The three men — as well as one other representative who has not asked to intervene in the case — admitted to paying Jane Doe $110,000 last year in an out-of-court settlement.

jeff hoover
Gage Skidmor / Wikimedia Commons

Former House Speaker Jeff Hoover has admitted that he violated state ethics rules by exchanging sexually charged text messages with a legislative staffer who used to work for him.

Wikimedia Commons

The Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission voted to dismiss ethics charges brought against three Republican state representatives, saying there wasn’t enough evidence to show that the men broke ethics rules by secretly signing a sexual harassment settlement with a former staffer.