AG Beshear: Kentucky lt. gov. can hire, fire own staff

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear’s office is weighing in on the personnel spat between Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton and Republican Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration.

Beshear, Bevin’s Democratic opponent in the upcoming governor’s race, issued an attorney general’s opinion Thursday after a request from Hampton.

Two of Hampton’s staffers have been dismissed by Bevin’s administration in recent months, and Hampton has argued that she should have control over her own staff. Bevin in January dropped Hampton as his running mate for reelection.

The AG’s opinion says the lieutenant governor has the power to “appoint and terminate” her own staff. The opinion written by Assistant Attorney General Taylor Payne does not carry the force of law.

After Bevin’s administration dismissed Hampton’s deputy chief of staff in May, Hampton asked for prayers as she fights “dark forces.”