Morgan County Judge-Executive Tim Conley was arrested this morning at roughly 10:30.
You ready for the fun, Kentucky? We expect quite a few prominent folks (Democrats, even) to be caught up in a mess or two in the months to come.
UPDATE – highlights:
That indictment states that Judge Conley accepted gifts and payment from Kenneth Lee Gambill, owner and president of a Salyersville construction company, in exchange for construction projects in Morgan County.
Investigators say Conley rigged the competitive bidding process in order to select Gambill’s construction company.
They claimed Gambill received approximately $1.1 million from his contracts with the county, from 2009 all the way up through August of this year.
Morgan County breathes a sigh of relief. And no, WKYT, no one is surprised.
Another update – let’s take a look at some highlights from the indictment:
At all relevant times, the Morgan County government contracted with private companies for the construction and repair of roads, bridges, and culverts within Morgan County. The Morgan County government purported to use a formal process for hiring construction contractors for these projects. CONLEY administered this process at all relevant times. On behalf of the Morgan County government, CONLEY directed the issuance of public solicitations for bid proposals, received sealed bids from contractors, purported to open the sealed bids in a public forum, and purported to select contracts based on the lowest bids. CONLEY then typically presented his selections to the Morgan County Fiscal Court and received the Fiscal Court’s approval for his selected contractors.
6. From a date in early 2009, the exact date unknown, until on or about August 20, 2013, in Franklin County and elsewhere in the Eastern District of Kentucky,
TIMOTHY ALEXANDER CONLEY and
KENNETH LEE GAMBILL
devised and intended to devise a scheme and artifice to defraud, to obtain money and property by means of materially false and fraudulent pretenses, and to deprive Morgan County and its citizens of their right to the honest and faithful services of CONLEY through bribery, kickbacks, and the concealment of material information related thereto, and for the purpose of executing such scheme and artifice, knowingly caused to be delivered by mail in accordance with the directions thereon, various items of mail, including the mailings listed below.
7. CONLEY solicited and accepted gifts, payments, and other things of value from KENNETH LEE GAMBILL and, in exchange, provided favorable official actions on behalf of KENNETH LEE GAMBILL as requested and as opportunities arose
8. CONLEY identified potential construction projects for PBTHNOJJ Construction and sought and obtained approval and funding from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet for certain of these projects.
9. CONLEY rigged purportedly competitive bidding processes in order to select PBTHNOJJ Construction for certain construction contracts. Among other methods that CONLEY used to rig bids, CONLEY opened bids outside of public view and altered PBTHNOJJ Construction’s bid prices to ensure the appearance that PBTHNOJJ Construction had submitted the lowest bids.
10. After selecting PBTHNOJJ Construction for these construction contracts, CONLEY secured approval for his selections from the Morgan County Fiscal Court under the fraudulent pretense that PBTHNOJJ Construction submitted the lowest bids in the course of fair and competitive biding processes.
12. CONLEY took steps to hide, conceal, and cover up his activity and the nature and scope of his dealings with KENNETH LEE GAMBILL, including meting with KENNETH LEE GAMBILL surreptitiously at locations away from CONLEY’s office, in order to accept the aforementioned cash payments.
13. As a result of this scheme, between a date in early 2009, the exact date unknown, and a date in or about August 2013, PBTHNOJJ Construction obtained approximately $1.1 million in proceeds from contracts in Morgan County.
Insane, isn’t it?
Here are just four of the items:
CLICK TO ENLARGE
The indictment goes on:
16. On or about March 2, 2012, a tornado swept through the City of West Liberty, Kentucky and other places with Morgan County, Kentucky, causing extensive damage. Thereafter, and over the course of the twelve consecutive months between March 2, 2012 and March 1, 2013, Morgan County received millions of dollars in federal funds for emergency services, debris cleanup, and repair work. As such, Morgan County was a federally funded agency…
17. Following the tornado, Morgan County entered into agreements with various private companies for emergency services, debris cleanup, and repair and replacement of buildings damaged by the tornado. Among other private contracts, Morgan County entered into an agreement with PBTHNOJJ Construction for the removal of certain debris remaining from the tornado.
18. As County Judge/Executive, CONLEY was an agent of the Morgan County government… In this position, CONLEY exercised substation authority of certain aspects of Morgan County’s procurement of private contractors for the emergency services, debris cleanup, and repair and replacement work performed after the tornado. In this position, CONLEY also oversaw certain aspects of the work itself, including PBTHNOJJ Construction’s performance of its debris cleanup responsibilities.
19. CONLEY abused this position and authority to ensure PBTHNOJJ Construction received payments in excess of the debris cleanup work actually performed.
Feds tell us the investigation isn’t over and Conley isn’t the only target.