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The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin has done some backpedaling with regard to changes he made to the Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Nominating Commission in May.  Specifically, Bevin has issued a new Executive Order, which rescinds his previous changes by altogether abolishing the Workers’ Compensation Nominating Commission, creating a new panel called the Workers’ Compensation Nominating Committee and making new appointments to that new panel.

In addition to  re-naming the panel the Workers’ Compensation Nominating Committee, Bevin has reduced the number of members from 7 to 5.  He has also appointed a member of the “old” workers’ compensation nominating commission, Charles McCoy, to the new committee.  McCoy is a petitioner in the lawsuit filed against Bevin seeking an injunction against Bevin’s original executive order dissolving the Workers’ Compensation Nominating Commission. That panel was comprised of appointments of the Beshear administration.  Bevin’s earlier executive order reconstituted that panel with his own appointments.

The members of the new Workers’ Compensation Nominating Committee are:  Louis D. Kelly of Florence, Charles E. McCoy of Owenton, Runan S. Pendergrast of Lexington, Megan E. Mersch of Park Hills and Joshua W. Davis of Louisville.







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.


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.


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