A variety of petitioners have filed suit against Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin alleging that he abused his executive power by dissolving the Workers’ Compensation Nominating Commission (WCNC) — even though none of its members’ tenures were up — and reconstituting it with his own appointments.
The WCNC is charged with recommending workers’ compensation administrative law judge (ALJ) appointments to the governor. The dissolved WCNC was composed of appointees of the Beshear administration.
The suit alleges, among other complaints, that by dissolving the WCNC and populating it with his own appointees, Bevin is attempting to tilt the balance of ALJ appointments to more conservative, employer-friendly judges.
The newly constituted WCNC was scheduled to meet May 23, 2016, to recommend new ALJs to fill six vacancies recently created by Bevin’s failure to reappoint ALJs Borders, Allen, Levy, Wolff, Polites and Bolton — all of whom were Beshear appointees.
But given the pending lawsuit, no further action is being taken until Franklin Circuit Court has ruled in the case. A hearing on the petitioners’ motion for a temporary restraining order (TRO) will be June 1, 2016, before Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip J. Shepherd.