Even in the midst of the most difficult and stormy days of his political life, state Rep. Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown, is finding reasons to be thankful.
Hoover, who resigned his leadership post as House Speaker on Nov. 5 amid sexual harassment allegations, said in a Facebook post Monday that he truly thanks God for the “disruption and problems in his life” the past few weeks and for his failings.
“But I have come to accept and truly believe God has a purpose in all that has happened to me and my prayer is that I can use all that has happened in the past month to honor and glorify Him better than ever with my life,” he wrote. “I am not sure what that is, but I know he has a plan and I am excited to see what it is and follow him, for he is my Shepherd.”
Hoover, a man with strong religious convictions, is a member of Russell Springs First Baptist Church. He said better days are ahead because “I believe God’s grace is sufficient for anything we face. In our weakness, we can rest in His strength.
“I believe that bumps in the road along life's journey are divine appointments. I also believe one cannot grow spiritually and mature spiritually without some pain along the journey.”
The past month has tested Hoover in every way, especially emotionally and physically. He recently spent three days and two nights in the hospital with a heart issue that he called “a light heart attack” and said the health scare has “certainly gotten my attention as well.”
Even since the days following his resignation as House Speaker, Hoover has found renewed support from friends and family who have stood behind him. He publicly thanked his family and friends in the Facebook post.
“They have been so supportive, so loving and caring,” he wrote. “I am blessed beyond measure with an awesome family and, without a doubt, I would not have gotten to this point today without them.”
Hoover, who admitted to sending inappropriate text messages to his accuser but has denied sexual harassing anyone, said going through adversity reveals true friends.
“The three most important things in this life are faith, family and friends, and our health,” he said. “I know I must refocus and recommit myself, first and foremost, to my faith, then to my family and friends, and my health. I know and have admitted I have fallen short and for any disappointment or embarrassment to my friends, I am truly sorry.”
Hoover’s Facebook post had nearly 500 reactions in the first two hours – nearly every one positive - and more than 100 comments of support.
Republican leaders in the House indicated Friday that the Legislative Ethics Commission may take over the investigation into sexual harassment allegations that led four House members to enter into a settlement with a female staffer and forced Hoover to resign his leadership post.
The investigation, currently being handled by an outside law firm, is expected to submit a report this week, according to Speaker Pro Tempore David Osborne, R-Prospect.
“Next week, I expect Middleton Reutlinger will fulfill its forecast of providing a preliminary investigatory report,” Osborne said in a statement on Friday. “There is a strong likelihood we will turn this over to Legislative Ethics at that time, but I want to see the report and get their advice before making the final decision.”