Matt Bevin

ONA News Agency/Wikimedia Commons

Patrick Baker, who former Gov. Matt Bevin pardoned after he was convicted of murder in state court, was found guilty of the same murder in federal court Wednesday.

Baker was released in December 2019. Now, he could possibly face a life sentence.

Bevin’s pardon of Baker was particularly controversial due to Baker’s brother hosting a fundraiser for Bevin’s gubernatorial campaign in 2018. 

At the time, the former governor said politics had nothing to do with his decision to pardon Baker. Instead, he cited insufficient evidence as his reason.

Kyeland Jackson

A man pardoned by former Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin is facing a murder charge for a second time. 

Patrick Baker was released from prison in 2018 following his conviction in state court. Now, he’s being charged again, but this time, by federal prosecutors.

A federal grand jury in London, Kentucky, has indicted Baker on charges of murder, committed during a robbery and kidnapping related to drug trafficking.  The indictment accuses him in the 2014 shooting death of Donald Mills, and the theft of oxycodone pills in Knox County. 

Baker was arrested Sunday in Frankfort. 

Kyeland Jackson

Kentucky’s new Republican Attorney General Daniel Cameron has asked the FBI to investigate controversial pardons issued by former Gov. Matt Bevin at the end of his term.

Bevin issued pardons and commutations to more than 650 people during his final weeks in office. Most of those actions were fairly routine — low-level drug offenders who had turned their lives around or cases widely thought to be miscarriages of justice.

But some of the pardons drew controversy, especially the pardon of a Kenton County man convicted of child rape and that of a Knox County man convicted of murder whose family later held a fundraiser for Bevin.


Kyeland Jackson

Former Gov. Matt Bevin defended his last-minute pardon of a man convicted of repeatedly raping a nine-year-old during a radio interview on Thursday.

Bevin claimed that there was no physical evidence of the victim’s abuse because her hymen was still intact, echoing a myth that examining the small vaginal tissue can prove sexual activity, including rape.

On his last day in office, Bevin pardoned Micah Schoettle of Kenton County for rape, sodomy, incest and other offenses after serving 19 months of a 23-year sentence.


Flickr/Creative Commons

Anthem Kentucky has submitted its appeal to the state protesting its exclusion from the Medicaid contracts issued two weeks ago by former Governor Matt Bevin’s administration. Anthem is asking for Governor Andy Beshear’s new administration to halt the new contracts and reconsider.

About two weeks ago, former Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration issued contracts to five insurance companies that will administer Medicaid benefits in the state starting in July; Anthem Kentucky and Passport Health weren’t among them. Meanwhile, United Healthcare and Molina were granted contracts to offer the benefits starting in July.

Becca Schimmel

Kentucky Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton managed to stay relatively out of the spotlight until the final year of Republican Governor Matt Bevin's administration.

In January, eyes turned toward her once Bevin filed to run for reelection without her on his ticket, and without explanation for several months.

In an interview with WKU Public Radio, Hampton discussed that moment and several other lessons from her time in office.


Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear fulfilled another of his “week one” campaign promises on Thursday by signing an executive order to automatically restore voting rights to people with nonviolent felonies who have completed their sentences. He estimated the move would allow more than 140,000 people to vote.

There are an estimated 312,000 disenfranchised voters in Kentucky, which equates to about 7 percent of the population.

With this act, Beshear revived an issue his father, former Gov. Steve Beshear, attempted to settle near the end of his term. The elder Beshear’s executive order would have allowed nearly 180,000 people convicted of felonies to resume voting. But former Republican Gov. Matt Bevin who served between the Beshear governorships, quickly overturned that with his own executive order.

Lawmakers Vote Against Kentucky Medicaid Contracts

Dec 9, 2019
Ryland Barton

A panel of state lawmakers has unanimously disapproved and voted against $8 billion worth of Medicaid contracts issued by Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration.

In the last hours of Bevin’s term as governor, the outgoing Finance Cabinet Secretary could override that disapproval, but any override may be moot as Gov.-elect Andy Beshear’s incoming Finance Secretary could also nullify the contracts.

Bevin’s Finance Cabinet awarded contracts to five insurance companies to administer Medicaid benefits for Kentucky enrollees two weeks ago. Two of the contracts to companies that had previously provided the service in Kentucky — Anthem of Kentucky and Passport Health — were not renewed.

Becca Schimmel

If Gov.-elect Andy Beshear fulfills his campaign promise to replace the members of the Kentucky Board of Education, he would be the first governor to do so since lawmakers tried to insulate the board from political pressures in 1990 as part of the Kentucky Education Reform Act.

Beshear, a Democrat, has said he would overhaul the Board of Education by executive order “on day one,” a rallying point for many educators who disagreed with priorities of the current 11-member board appointed by Republican Gov. Matt Bevin.

Beshear has also said he hopes that the board would replace its only employee, Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis, who was hired shortly after Bevin’s appointees took control of the board in 2018.

J. Tyler Franklin

Outgoing Gov. Matt Bevin claimed he lost his reelection because Democrats “harvested votes in urban areas.”

Gov.-elect Andy Beshear named some of his cabinet secretaries. And education commissioner Wayne Lewis defended himself as his job might be in jeopardy in the new administration.

Jonese Franklin from member station WFPL talked to Capitol reporter Ryland Barton for this week’s edition of Kentucky Politics Distilled.

J. Tyler Franklin

A memo from the outgoing administration of Governor says Governor-elect Andy Beshear faces a massive budget shortfall as he prepares to take office. 

The note from Bevin's budget director estimates the shortfall could exceed $1 billion over the next two years.The legislature will deal with rising costs and a host of competing demands for funding, including pensions, corrections, Medicaid, and employee health benefits.


The memo was sent to Beshear's transition team and state lawmakers. Beshear takes office next Tuesday and will submit a two-year spending plan to the legislature early next year.

Kyeland Jackson

During a series of interviews on talk radio shows Wednesday morning, outgoing Republican Gov. Matt Bevin said that he lost his race for reelection because the Democratic Party “harvested votes in urban communities.”

Bevin lost to Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear last month by a little more than 5,000 votes.

During an interview on 55KRC in Cincinnati, Bevin said that the election was a “surprise” that defies logic.


J. Tyler Franklin

In one of his last acts before leaving office, Governor Matt Bevin has pardoned a Kentucky man convicted of sexually abusing his young stepdaughter. The man is serving a life sentence stemming from the alleged crime 20 years ago.

Paul Donel Hurt was convicted in Jefferson County in 2001 of sodomizing and sexually abusing the girl, who was six at the time of the crime. 

“Hindsight is never truly 20\20, but it appears to me and to many others, including the judge who sentenced him, that Paul Donel Hurt has been wrongly convicted and imprisoned for nearly 20 years," Bevin wrote in his executive order.


This week in Kentucky politics, Gov. Matt Bevin said he’s going to return to the private sector after losing his race for reelection.

Gov.-elect Andy Beshear named the first appointees of his administration. And incoming Secretary of State Michael Adams says he wants to clean Kentucky’s voter rolls and get a voter ID bill passed before next year’s elections.

J. Tyler Franklin

Kentucky lawmakers again questioned University of Louisville’s decision to purchase Jewish Hospital and other assets it acquired from Kentucky One Health during a legislative meeting on Tuesday.

The takeover was finalized earlier this month with hopes that the state legislature would approve a $50 million loan to help finalize the university’s move.

University of Louisville President Neeli Bendapudi told a panel of lawmakers that the purchase helped avoid the closure of the hospital system, which the university’s medical school relies on for many of its clinical programs.