FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Kentucky State Board of Elections has fired its top two staff members, and they say they weren’t given an explanation for their termination.
The board voted 3-2 on Tuesday to fire Executive Director Maryellen Allen, a Democrat, and Assistant to the Director Matthew Selph, a Republican, The Lexington Herald-Leader reported . The board consists of three Democrats and three Republicans. One Republican member did not attend the meeting.
Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, who chairs the board, said the decision was bipartisan and the staff members’ services were no longer needed. She did not elaborate.
Allen and Selph both said they weren’t given a reason, but Selph said he believed their termination is related to a complaint he had filed with the Executive Branch Ethics Commission regarding the operations of the board. He said that, since filing his complaint, he felt his employment was month-to-month, and that Allen’s firing resulted because of his questions.
“She was one of the best bosses I’ve ever had,” Selph said. “The best boss I’ve ever had. And it’s a shame because I think she’s in this position because of me.”
He also said they were not given the opportunity to defend themselves.
Kathryn Gabhart, the executive director of the Executive Branch Ethics Commission, could not confirm or deny an ongoing investigation as a result of Selph’s complaint.
Mary Sue Helm, the secretary of state’s director of administration and elections, will serve as a liaison until the staff positions are filled.
Information from: Lexington Herald-Leader, http://www.kentucky.com