Judges rules for governor in legal battle with lieutenant

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin has won another round of a legal fight with his lieutenant governor over who wields hiring and firing authority over the lieutenant governor’s staff.

A judge ruled Friday that the Republican governor has “superseding authority” to hire and fire employees assigned to the lieutenant governor’s office. In doing so, Judge Phillip Shepherd granted a motion for summary judgment sought by Bevin’s legal team.

Shepherd’s ruling comes in an extraordinary legal fight between Bevin and Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton.

Hampton sought a ruling declaring she had appointing authority for members of her office. She’s seeking reinstatement of two assistants fired by Bevin’s administration without her consent.

Bevin faces a tough reelection challenge from Democrat Andy Beshear on Nov. 5. Bevin dropped Hampton from his ticket earlier this year.