Impeachment petition against Rep. Goforth dismissed

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Nita Johnson, The Sentinel Echo, London, Ky.
·2 min read
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Feb. 12—Impeachment charges a Laurel County lawmaker were dismissed by a House panel on Thursday night.

According to a story published by the Associated Press, the House panel dismissed the petition against 89th District Rep. Robert Goforth after hearing from two law professors who stated that legislators were not subject to impeachment. The two men did state, however, that lawmakers could be expelled by their colleagues. After that testimony, according to the Associated Press article, the panel met for an hour before dismissing the petition.

The petition to remove Goforth from office was filed on Jan. 13. The complaint referred to Goforth's arrest last year for allegedly strangling a woman. Strangulation is now a felony offense.

Goforth, who represents eight Laurel County precincts in the northeastern section as well as residing in Laurel County, was arrested in April 2020, after a woman went to the Laurel Dispatch Center to report an assault by Goforth. Police reports indicate the woman had visible marks on her head and neck. Goforth has since been indicted by a Laurel grand jury for first-degree strangulation and has entered a not guilty plea to the charges. That case is still pending in Laurel Circuit Court.

Goforth, meanwhile, tossed his hat into the re-election bid to serve a second term — and won over his Democratic opponent by an overwhelming margin this past November.

Goforth commented on the dismissal in a statement to The Sentinel Echo on Friday morning.

"The Impeachment Committee followed the law and respected the will of the voters just as I am sure they will regarding any other politically motivated unconstitutional impeachment petitions filed. Impeachment was never meant to be a mechanism by which to grind a political axe. I am focused on representing the needs of the people of the 89th House District."

The petition against Goforth came after a slue of impeachment petitions were filed against Kentucky elected officials. Several petitions have been filed against Gov. Andy Beshear for restrictions made from the Coronavirus pandemic last year. Another petition was filed against Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron regarding his handling of the investigation of officers involved with the Breonna Taylor shooting death last year.