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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.

Read a copy of the petition here.



Governor Matt Bevin has reappointed ALJ Jane Rice Williams as administrative law judge, but has declined to reappoint Judge Thomas Polites, Judge Steven Bolton or Judge Otto Daniel Wolff. The executive order reappointing Williams was filed on May 11, 2016.

fired_stampBy Executive Order filed on May 9, 2016, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin dissolved and reconstituted the Workers’ Compensation Nominating Commission.  The previous WCNC consisted of Chairman William Grover Arnett, Sherri Keller, Charles J. Baird, Robert W. Carlisle, Brockton L. Edwards, Charles E. McCoy and McKinnley Morgan.

The newly reconstituted board consists of Mark Flores of Lexington, Megan E. Mersch of Park Hills, Joshua W. Davis of Louisville, Jordan Tong of Owensboro, Victoria E. Boggs of Louisville, Louis D. Kelly  of Florence and Runan S. Pendergrast of Lexington.  Eastern Kentucky is no longer represented on the new WCNC.


The Kentucky Senate adjourned last week without considering the reappointment of ALJs Greg Allen, Scott Borders and Udell Levy.  As such, these ALJs will not be reappointed and three ALJ vacancies will now need to be filled. The Senate did confirm the reappointment of Rebekka B. Rechter  as Board Member for a new four year term.

The Senate has also confirmed the reappointments of the following ALJs for four year terms: Christopher Davis, Douglas W. Gott, Tanya Pullin , Grant S. Roark and Jonathan Weatherby.

ALJs Thomas Polites, Otto Daniel Wolff, IV, Jane Rice Williams and Steven G. Bolton are also up for reappointment and have been recommended for such by the Workers’ Compensation Nominating Commission.

The Workers’ Compensation Nominating Commission is comprised of William Grover Arnett, Chairperson; Charles J. Baird; Sherri P. Brown-Keller; Robert W. Carlisle; Brockton L. Edwards; Charles E. McCoy and McKinnley Morgan.

Follow our Twitter feed for news updates on the Eric C. Conn coverage.


As we previously reported in December, former Gov. Steve Beshear had appointed Tyra Redus to replace ALJ William Rudloff. Why then is former state Rep. Tanya Pullin, D-South Shore, taking Rudloff’s place?

Newly elected Gov. Matt Bevin issued an executive order soon after taking office in December rescinding Beshear’s appointment, Jack Brammer reported in the Lexington Herald-Leader (LHL). Bevin’s order said Redus had withdrawn from the appointment. The LHL reported that Redus did not respond to a request for comment; only Pullin could be reached by the LHL for comment.

“There will be some traveling in the job for hearings but not as much as in the legislature,” Pullin — who lives in South Shore, in northeastern Kentucky — told the LHL. “Given my family status, that is appealing to me.”

Pullin’s workers’ compensation background is unknown. It does not appear she has ever practiced before the Department of Workers’ Claims. Pullin’s biography indicates she last practiced law in 1997 with Baker & McKenzie out of the firm’s Hong Kong office. No standard legal directories make mention of her current legal practice.

Pullin’s appointment as an ALJ and her departure from the House follows a series of similar appointments that Bevin, a Republican, has made of House Democrats, leading pundits to theorize that Republicans are poised to take over that state legislative chamber for the first time since 1921.

Tyra Latrice Redus has been appointed ALJ to replace William J. Rudloff, whose term has expired.  She will serve for a term expiring December 31, 2019. Ms. Redus’ LinkedIn profile indicates she is presently the Executive Director of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Office for Civil Rights and Small Business Development.  She has previously worked as a staff attorney III with the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet and as an associate attorney for U’Sellis & Kitchen.

The DWC has released the 2016 benefit schedule and the 2016 present worth table. Both can be accessed from the home page.

The Kentucky DWC’s proposed online litigation management system (LMS) is in the works and is expected to be functioning at least as a beta version some time in the near future.  It has encountered some hurdles from members of the workers’ compensation bar resistant to this much needed change in the administration of workers’ compensation claims.  Hopefully those dissident voices will be eventually ignored so that this necessary technology can be launched. To learn more about the LMS, visit this link.

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