KHBC Conflicts Of Interest Bigger Than Thought

Remember that story we published about Jack Coleman? He’s the Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Housing, Buildings and Construction and we caught him in a big conflict of interest. Coleman, despite it being against the law, started a construction company.

As a reminder, KRS 198B.030 says:

Neither the commissioner nor any member of his or her staff shall be employed, either directly or indirectly, in any aspect of the building industry as regulated by this chapter while employed by the Department of Housing, Buildings and Construction.

Coleman told us there was nothing to see here, puppies and rainbows, move along, it was never an active business entity.

But he filed an annual report and Secretary of State staffers tell us that means it’s an active entity whether it has income or not.

We’ve also discovered that Coleman was also part of another construction business called Coleman Brothers Construction Company:


Active and such during his time as Deputy Commissioner. It ceased operation less than a month before he formed Coleman Family Construction. Such a coincidence.

When Coleman was questioned about it, this was his response:

Coleman Brothers Construction founded by my Father and his brothers, to my knowledge, has not conducted any business since the 1970’s. However it did remain registered with the Sec of State until Sept 2013.

Because that’s what you do – keep a business entity active for 40-50 years for no reason.

What could possibly make someone feel comfortable doing something so blatant?

Turns out his boss — Ambrose Wilson — the Commissioner? He, too, has a construction-related business — A.Wilson General Contractors:


You can see for yourself that it’s been active for years.

When asked about Wilson being in the construction business, we got one response and it was from Coleman:

“Commissioner Ambrose Wilson IV is not in the construction business.”

Um. “Um” is truly the only reaction we can come up with.

Unfortunately for both of them, we hear the inspector general has started poking around again as a result of our asking questions. Unfortunately for Kentucky, that means nothing because this is… Kentucky. Even if there’s a corrupt mess going down in Frankfort, it gets ignored unless it’s embarrassing or involves sex (the magic ingredient for forcing change).

Puppies and rainbows! Nothing to see here. Just another day in the Commonwealth.