Sen. Storm on committee for impeachment hearing

Mar. 15—FRANKFORT — Senator Brandon Storm (R-London) is one of seven state senators appointed to hear evidence in the first impeachment hearing the Senate has conducted in 135 years.

The hearing involves Ronnie Lee Goldy, Commonwealth's Attorney for Bath, Menifee, Montgomery and Rowan counties. Last month, the House of Representatives unanimously approved a resolution containing three articles of impeachment against Goldy.

After receiving the House resolution, the Senate passed Senate Resolution 108 to set forth a plan for Senate impeachment proceedings.

"Conducting an impeachment trial in the Senate is uncharted territory for any of us currently living (in office), as the last one occurred over a century ago," said Senate President Robert Stivers. "In researching how to proceed with this process, we developed a sound, constitutional plan which provides due process and ensures public office integrity."

Stivers appointed a committee of seven senators to hear evidence from the House of Representatives presented by managers. In addition to Storm, those committee members are: Senator Lindsey Tichenor, R-Smithfield; Senator Gex Williams, R-Verona; Senator Jason Howell, R-Murray; Senator Michael Nemes, R-Shepherdsville; Senator Cassie Chambers Armstrong, D-Louisville; and Senator Reginald Thomas, D-Lexington.

The hearing portion of the proceedings will take place March 21-22, while the chambers are in the so-called veto recess. Following the introduction of evidence to the committee, the defendant in the case will have the opportunity to present evidence.

Upon conclusion of the hearing, the committee will prepare recommendations and present them to the full Senate. The body may then accept the recommendations, reject them, or proceed to a full trial on the Senate floor. The Constitution of Kentucky requires the concurrence of two-thirds of the senators present to convict and remove the officeholder.

The last time an impeachment trial was held was in 1888 when State Treasurer "Honest Dick" Tate was impeached for fleeing to Brazil and abandoning his office with $247,000 in state funds.

The last elected official to be impeached in Kentucky was in 1991, when then-Agriculture Commissioner Ward "Butch" Burnette, was impeached after being convicted of theft, but he resigned his office before a Senate trial could take place.