FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP/LEX 18) — The Kentucky Senate’s top leader says he’ll introduce a measure calling for an investigation into the state’s $24 million settlement with the makers of the prescription painkiller OxyContin.
Senate President Robert Stivers said Tuesday he’ll introduce the joint resolution — which carries the force of law — on the first day of the 2020 legislative session in January.
Stivers says Kentucky was “shortchanged” in the Purdue Pharma settlement. Former Attorney General Jack Conway settled the case in late 2015, a few days before he left office.
A call to Conway at his law office was not immediately returned.
Under Stivers’ proposal, an investigating counsel would be hired to conduct the investigation. Stivers says the questions that need answering include why the case was settled days before Conway left office.
Reporters asked Stivers if he had any evidence that Andy Beshear did anything wrong.— Karolina Buczek (@Karolina_Buczek) September 24, 2019
Answer from Stivers: “There are only questions out there.”
Given that Beshear is running for Governor & the election is weeks away, reporters asked about the timing.
Stivers’ response : pic.twitter.com/giLAdnfFJU
Andy Beshear's campaign manager Eric Hyers released the following statement: "Six weeks before Election Day, this is a shameless political stunt that shows how worried Matt Bevin is about his weak and failing campaign. Andy Beshear played no role in the Purdue settlement whatsoever. In administering the settlement, the office of the attorney general followed the budget instructions passed by Senator Stivers in the legislature and signed by Matt Bevin, as well as the written instructions from Matt Bevin’s administration — and there are even emails to prove it. Andy Beshear has been the most aggressive attorney general in the country when it comes to taking on the big pharmaceutical companies that ravaged our communities. It's Matt Bevin who has hurt Kentucky families by opposing and delaying Andy’s efforts to hold big drug companies accountable.”