Politics & Government

Bevin removes commissioner of Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control

Gov. Matt Bevin.
Gov. Matt Bevin. AP File Photo

Gov. Matt Bevin has removed from office the Alcoholic Beverage Control commissioner he appointed earlier this year.

Bevin issued an executive order Monday removing Steven Edwards “for the reason that I have lost confidence in his ability to effectively lead the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control and the Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission.”

The governor said in the order that “matters have been brought to my attention that have caused me to question” Edwards’ ability to lead, but the order does not specify what those “matters” were.

“We do not comment on personnel matters,” said Doug Hogan, a spokesman for the Public Protection Cabinet.

Bevin named Edwards, an attorney who lives in Prospect, as commissioner of the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control in March and issued a retroactive executive order approving the appointment on June 14. The department commissioner also serves as chairman of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.

Edwards had previously served as a member of the ABC Board and had been distilled spirits administrator.

He is a retired lieutenant colonel who graduated from the U.S. Army War College and earned the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. He served with the 101st Airborne during the first phase of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003.

He previously worked as division chief for claims at Fort Knox, handling claims brought against the Army in Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and part of Kentucky, according to a state news release issued at the time of Edwards’ appointment.

Edwards replaced former ABC commissioner Freddie Higdon, who resigned after serving in the post since 2013.