FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — We've learned that a group of four citizens has filed a petition, calling for the impeachment of Governor Andy Beshear.
The petition is in regard to Governor Beshear's emergency actions taken during the pandemic. The evidence the four citizens reference in the petition is the survivability rate of COVID-19.
On Saturday, Republican House Speaker David Osborne said that based on what is written in the Kentucky Constitution, the House is obligated to take the petition seriously.
"We don't really have any choice but to take action on it. The constitution is very brief and very vague about what we have to do. But we have to take it seriously. This is a serious issue. Regardless of whether anything comes of it, or not," said Osborne. "So I'm not even saying that it's serious allegations, but for someone to propose undoing the election of a state executive - it's only happened four times in the history of the state of Kentucky and only one of those has actually resulted in a conviction - it's a very, very serious accusation."
Speaker Osborne told reporters at the Capitol that this petition does not require a vote.
"It just requires the committee act. And the committee's action can be to do nothing," said Osborne.
Osborne added that he had not read the petition when he was asked about it on Saturday afternoon.
One of the four citizens who filed the petition is the owner of Brewed in Lexington, Andrew Cooperrider. The petition was posted on Brewed's Facebook page on Friday night. According to the post, it was received on Friday, January 8, by the House Clerk's office.
The petition reads: "Based upon evidence and fact I find beyond a reasonable doubt, that Governor Andrew Beshear has abused executive powers, has acted arbitrarily and with malfeasance, has
perpetuated a fraud upon the people of Kentucky, has caused great harm to the economy in Kentucky and small business, has caused the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs, has violated the right of religious freedoms, the right of conscience, the right to assemble, to travel and much more."
When indoor dining at restaurants was temporarily banned in November, Cooperrider defied the executive order and kept Brewed's open.
The case did go to court, but Lexington's Health Department dismissed the case after the governor's dining room ban expired.
On Saturday night, Cooperrider told LEX 18 more about his decision to file the petition.
"The bottom line is, though, through that process it's not like I can just go back to being a normal coffee shop. I mean, I kind of made my bed already, right? So, if I'm going to be in the open like that, I can at least be the voice of small business. The voice of people that feel voiceless," said Cooperrider.
We asked Governor Beshear's office for a response to the petition, and received a statement from his spokesperson.
This action is silly and completely unjustified. The Kentucky Supreme Court ruled every step the Governor has taken is legal. But more concerning, this is the type of dangerous, angry rhetoric and disinformation that led to Wednesday's attack on the U.S. Capitol and our very democracy. People are watching and listening. Everyone has a duty to be responsible.