Adam Edelen Takes The Gloves Off

Yesterday Auditor of Public Accounts Adam Edelen took the gloves off in Jackson and Leslie Counties.

Edelen’s office referred two audits in Jackson to the Attorney General — for the Sheriff’s Office and the Sheriff’s Tax Office. In Leslie, the Sheriff’s Office audit was referred both to the Attorney General and the Leslie County Attorney. For the first time in a long time, Edelen’s office publicly stated in a release that the referrals were made. Guessing that ad on the right-hand side of the site woke him up a bit.

Click here (Warning: External PDF Link) for the Jackson Sheriff’s Office audit release. Highlights:

  • The former Sheriff did not manage the financial activities of his office.
  • The former Sheriff did not comply with the Uniform System of Accounts.
  • The former Sheriff’s office lacked adequate segregation of duties.
  • The former Sheriff should have ensured monies collected were secured and handled properly.
  • The former Sheriff should have properly accounted for forfeiture monies and filed appropriate reports.
  • The former Sheriff should have made fee pooling payments in accordance with the fee pooling ordinance.
  • The former Sheriff should collect and remit payments as recommended in order to close out the calendar year 2013 fee account.
  • The former Sheriff should have eliminated the deficit of $112,889 in his official 2011 Fee Account.
  • The former Sheriff should have collected receivables and paid liabilities from his 2012 Fee Account as determined by prior year audit.
  • The former Sheriff should require depository institutions to pledge or provide sufficient collateral to protect deposits.
  • The former Sheriff should publish information required by KRS 91A.040.

Click here (Warning: External PDF Link) for the Jackson Sheriff’s Tax Office audit release. Highlights:

  • The former Sheriff did not manage the financial activities of his office.
  • The former Sheriff’s office lacked adequate segregation of duties over tax receipts, disbursements, and reconciliations.
  • The former Sheriff should have strengthened internal controls over daily checkout procedures and deposits should have been made intact on a daily basis.
  • Reconciliation procedures should have been performed to ensure adequate monitoring of tax receipts and tax disbursements.
  • The former Sheriff should ensure the delinquent tax list is complete and accurate before submitting to the County Clerk.
  • The former Sheriff has a known deficit of $15,421 in his 2013 official tax account.
  • The former Sheriff should resolve unsettled 2011 tax receivables and liabilities
  • The former Sheriff should ensure tax receipts are placed in an interest-bearing account.
  • The former Sheriff should resolve unsettled 2012 tax receivables and liabilities.
  • The former Sheriff should have made tax payments to the districts by the 10th of the next month.
  • The former Sheriff should improve controls and documentation procedures for waivers of tax penalties and fees.
  • The former Sheriff should have required depository institutions to pledge or provide sufficient collateral to protect deposits.
  • The former Sheriff should collect/disburse amounts due/owed based upon audit.
  • The former Sheriff’s County Revenue Bond was not adequate.

Click here (Warning: External PDF Link) for the Leslie County Sheriff’s audit release. Highlights:

  • The former Sheriff’s office lacked adequate segregation of duties.
  • The former Sheriff should have strengthened internal controls over payroll processing.
  • The former Sheriff should have improved internal controls over receipts.
  • The former Sheriff should have ensured receipts were issued for all auto inspections performed.
  • The former Sheriff should not have spent fee receipts on disallowed expenditures.
  • The former Sheriff’s expenditures exceeded revenues by $3,694 and the budget amendment was not submitted to the Fiscal Court in a timely manner.
  • The former Sheriff’s donation account should be in compliance with KRS 61.310.
  • Donated monies should not be spent on disallowed expenditures.
  • The former Sheriff has a total deficit of $21,165 in his fee account and donated funds.
  • The former Sheriff should settle 2012 fee account receivables and liabilities due per audit.
  • The former Sheriff should settle 2011 fee account receivables and liabilities due per audit
  • The former Sheriff should settle 2010 fee account receivables and liabilities due per audit.
  • The former Sheriff should settle 2008 and 2009 fee account receivables and liabilities due per audit.
  • The former Sheriff’s office received duplicate payroll reimbursement from two outside entities.
  • Telecommunication tax commissions of $1,025 are due to the Fiscal Court.

Those excerpts are pretty boring but if you dig into the audit releases and look at the actual audits, you’ll be amazed at how rampant the asshattery is for some local sheriffs.

Will Jack Conway take action?

The world may never know.

But if recent history is any indication, probably not.


He’s taking the gloves off in Somerset, as well. From a release a few minutes ago:

Auditor Edelen Releases Special Examination into City of Somerset, Finds Employees Feared Retaliation, Officials Conducted City Business with Little Accountability

Report will be Referred to the Attorney General, Other State Agencies

Auditor Adam Edelen today released a special examination into the City of Somerset, finding that city employees feared retaliation, city officials generally ignored city policies and ordinances – if they existed at all – and made spending and management decisions without proper oversight or accountability.

The report describes a city management that didn’t competitively bid at least $280,000 worth of services, did not consistently contract for or have oversight of negotiated industrial natural gas rates, hires and pays personnel not established or authorized by city council and at times operated outside the confines of city policies, ordinances, and other laws.

The report will be referred to the Attorney General’s office, the Department of Revenue, the Department of Labor, the Department of Agriculture and the City Board of Ethics for further consideration.

“This exam paints a picture of a city management that ignores ordinances and policies, skirts oversight and accountability and conducts the business of taxpayers as a few people at the top see fit,” Auditor Edelen said. “What’s worse, we heard over and over again from city employees that they were afraid to share information with us because they feared being retaliated against. This is not how a city ought to be run.”

The report references several instances in which city personnel were hesitant to cooperate with auditors during the examination for fear of retaliation by the city mayor. Several city employees noted numerous times that they were at-will workers, and the mayor had the authority to terminate their employment for no cause.

You may click here (Warning: External PDF) to review the report for yourself.

Rough Week In The Rand Paul World

HELP PROTECT OUR SOURCES! Stop the Montgomery County-Joshua Powell-Phil Rison insanity! [CLICK HERE]

Kim Davis is a miserable bigot and a judge put her in her place. [H-L]

Let’s all just bite our tongues and allow our eyes to roll back in our heads. Democratic state Treasurer Todd Hollenbach was the odd man out of statewide elections this year, unable to seek re-election because of term limits while some of the biggest names in Kentucky politics are campaigning for governor and attorney general. But the 55-year-old hopes to stay in public office as he filed Tuesday to run for district judge in the 30th judicial district of Jefferson County. [H-L]

When Republicans carry on about what a “disaster” the Affordable Care Act is, they rarely acknowledge that the law is helping millions of people get health insurance. But we don’t need Republicans to tell us these things. We have data. [HuffPo]

Guessing this probably isn’t good news for the Rand Paul world. [C-J/AKN]

For Central American migrants, the journey through Mexico has become a gauntlet of violence at the hands of criminals, drug cartels—and even the authorities. [The Nation]

Magistrate Larry Combs, who represents Berea and southern Madison County on the fiscal court, said Tuesday his district was not getting a fair share of the $875,000 the county received this year for rural roads from the state fuel tax. [Richmond Register]

Newly declassified snippets fo Haldeman’s diary highlight how much we still don’t know about Watergate and the Nixon Administration. [Jstor]

A trial date has been set in a lawsuit filed against the Glasgow Independent Schools Board of Education regarding a claim that the board violated Kentucky’s open meetings law. [Glasgow Daily Times]

China further devalued the yuan on Wednesday, adding more strains to Washington’s relations with Beijing after Tuesday’s surprise weakening of its currency drew condemnation from U.S. lawmakers. [WSJ]

The Kentucky Department of Insurance recently approved insurers’ requests for rate hikes. And all but one of the 13 insurers selling individual and small-group plans in the state are raising rates. [WFPL]

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a Democratic presidential candidate, snatched his first major union endorsement on Monday from the nation’s largest organization of nurses. [The Hill]

Attorney General Jack Conway on Tuesday joined Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and 15 other states in a legal action against the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for illegally invalidating the individual air quality protection plans in each of those states. Because he wasn’t pandering enough already? [Ashland Independent]

Rand Paul, whose campaign is struggling with deep fundraising and organizational problems, has fixated on throwing grenades at GOP frontrunner Donald Trump, hardly the strategy of a thriving campaign. [Politico]

Some Somerset council members are not happy with the city’s lawsuit challenging the authority of the state auditor to do special examinations of city governments, but the court action will go forward. [H-L]

While many Republican presidential candidates continue to bash Planned Parenthood for controversial videos revealing its work on aborted fetal tissue research, frontrunner Donald Trump has decided zig where his rivals have zagged. [HuffPo]

Edelen Merely Talks A Good Game

Some notes before we begin…

Jesse Benton should be held accountable for whatever he did — and if he didn’t do anything, then everyone can go on with their lives. You’d have to be stupid to suggest otherwise. We certainly haven’t. But Adam Edelen/some of his folks have taken it upon themselves to privately suggest we return Harmon’s meager ad buy because of some butthurt or something. As if a tiny ad buy would sway anyone. As if running a campaign ad for a short period of time is the end of the world.

Nice break from them claiming this site is irrelevant, though. “You’re irrelevant! But please take down our opponent’s ad.”

Since they want to try everyone they can into Rand/Ron Paul’s shenanigans, it’s time for a story about Democratic Party infighting that I’ve been sitting on for years. Part one of the story, anyway.

Adam Edelen is the best candidate for the job this year but let’s get a couple things out in the open.

Here’s what he said about his opponent, Mike Harmon, and Harmon’s former consultant, Benton:

Edelen noted in a press release that the allegations against Benton were well-known when Harmon hired Benton.

“Voters ought to question the judgment of a candidate for state Auditor who ignored these allegations and allowed Jesse Benton to run a campaign that was based solely on personally attacking me and smearing my track record,” Edelen’s statement said.

Personally attacking and smearing his track record. Talking a good game.

Because that’s exactly what Edelen and his state government employees have attempted to (rightly) do to Jack Conway since at least 2013.

Edelen has referred more than 80 cases to Conway (and other enforcement agencies) and he and his staff allege they’ve been ignored or otherwise swept under the rug. They refuse to go on-the-record about it and panic when there’s the chance anyone might suggest he’s afraid to call Jack Conway out (he’s afraid). Because Kentucky Democrats aren’t allowed to criticize other Democrats. That’s 80+ cases involving more than $3,730,000.

His people shopped around a list containing more than 70 of those referrals in December. In march, I asked if an updated list existed and was provided a copy within a matter of minutes. Last week, Edelen’s staff provided an even more up-to-date version of the list — current as of July 23, 2015 — but potentially not all-inclusive.

Goes like this: Audit, Release Date/Referral Date, Other Information:

  • Butler STS 2009 — December 27, 2011/January 5, 2012$13,728 deficit due to undeposited receipts. Refer to AG Foster
  • Butler STS & FES 2010 — December 29, 2011/January 5, 2012 — Repeat finding of $13,728 deficit in tax account, and $3,570 deficit in fee account, due to undeposited receipts. Refer to AG Foster.
  • Fulton FES 2009 & 2010 — March 2, 2012/February 28, 2012$1,431 deficit in 09 fee, and $5,722 deficit in 10 fee, due to lack of documentation and disallowed expenses, due to fiscal court as excess fees. Refer to AG Foster.
  • Fulton STS 2010 — March 2, 2012/February 28, 2012$3,821 deficit in 10 tax a/c, with $113 as undeposited receipts and $3,708 in penalties assessed by KDR for late tax payments. Refer to AG Foster.
  • Leslie FES 2010 — March 5, 2012/March 5, 2012 — Sheriff owes $9,893 in excess fees to fiscal court. Refer to Co. Atty., citing KRS 64.820. Audit done by CPA firm Morgan-Franklin.
  • Perry FEC 2010 — March 16, 2012/March 20, 2012 — Clerk Haven King owes County a minimum of $30,860 in excess fees from prior and current audits (2007, 2008, 2009, & 2010). Refer to Co. Atty. for action per KRS 64.820, with copy to AG Foster
  • Magoffin FES 2010 — March 26, 2012/March 23, 2012 — Former Sheriff Randall Jordan owed County $37,248 in excess fees from prior year audits (2004, 2005, 2006), and owes the Magoffin County School District $12,140 in taxes. Refer to Co. Atty. for action per KRS 64.820, with copy to AG Foster
  • Leslie STS 2010 — March 26, 2012/March 26, 2012 — Sheriff has $5,786 deficit in tax account. Refer to AG Foster (CPA Morgan-Franklin did the audit)
  • Kentucky Department of AgricultureApril 30, 2012/April 30, 2012 — Special Exam of Former Ag. Commissioner Richie Farmer’s KDA administration found misuse of Ag resources and personnel, gifts to Farmer unreported by him, use of state funds for private benefit, and other questionable spending. Referred to AG Foster, Ag. Dev. Bd. Thomas, KDFW Gassett, US Dept. of Interior OIG T. Hardy, EBEC Steffen, Ky. Personnel Bd. Sipek, IRS Blazier, and KDR Kinney.
  • Lincoln FES 2010 — May 11, 2012/May 10, 2012 — Sheriff Curt Folger has $22,918 deficit in fee account, and from this amount owes county $17,283 in excess fees. Refer to Co. Atty. for action per KRS 64.820, with copy to AG Foster.
  • Owsley FEC 2010 — June 25, 2012/June 25, 2012 — Clerk Sid Gabbard has $61,398 deficit ($59,536 in undeposited receipts); 687 in disallowed expenses; $43,400 in unidentified cash deposited after year end; $57,391 owed but not paid in tax and retirement withholdings; and $22,268 in delinquent taxes received but not paid to taxing districts. Referred to AG Wilding, IRS Blazier, KDR Saunders, KRS Jones, and Co. Atty. McIntosh. Clerk Gabbard indicted on 1/23/13 in Franklin Circuit Court on 2 counts of Theft and 2 counts of state Tax Evasion.
  • Carlisle FES 2010 — July 10, 2012/July 9, 2012 — Former Sheriff Steve McChristian had $5,851 in disallowed expenses and owes this amount to the county as excess fees. Refer to Co. Atty. Hogancamp for collection per KRS 64.820, with copy to AG Badaracco.
  • Whitley OSTS 2010 — July 30, 2012/July 25, 2012 — Last audit of former Sheriff Lawrence Hodge’s tenure as Sheriff, referred to FBI – London office as an FYI, since our previous audits had been referred to them, which led to Hodge’s conviction in federal court for theft.
  • Carlisle FEC 2012 — August 24, 2012/August 24, 2012 — Former Clerk Theresa Owens had $10,760 in disallowed expenses and owes this amount to the county as excess fees. Refer to Co. Atty. Hogancamp for collection per KRS 64.820, with copy to AG Badaracco.
  • Jefferson FEC 2011 — October 3, 2012/October 3, 2012 — Clerk Barbara Holsclaw is operating a non-profit corporation out of her Clerk’s public office, and administering a charitable fund out of her office without sufficient documentation or proper accountability. Refer to Co. Atty. and Lou. Metro Ethics Comm.
  • Jefferson FES 2011 — October 22, 2012/October 22, 2012 — Sheriff John Aubrey had vehicle maintenance work done by a special deputy he appointed, creating a related party transaction. Refer to Lou. Metro Ethics Comm.
  • Mason County School DistrictOctober 24, 2012/October 24, 2012 — School District failed to timely report to the IRS fringe benefits received by several District management staff. Refer to IRS, with copy to KDR.
  • Rockcastle FEC 2011 — November 1, 2012/November 1, 2012$3,926 in undeposited receipts. Refer to KSP Trooper Baker.
  • Carlisle FES 2011 — November 19, 2012/November 19, 2012 — Carlisle Sheriff Steve Perry owes $1,686 in excess fees to the fiscal court. Refer to Co. Atty. Hogancamp for collection per KRS 64.820, with copy to AG Badaracco.
  • McCreary FC 2011 — November 26, 2012/November 26, 2012 — County treasurer is failing to perform statutory duties, and is delegating duties to a person not an employee of the county who is not bonded or authorized. Refer to DLG and Co. Atty.
  • Hickman FES 2011 — November 26, 2012/November 26, 2012 — Hickman Sheriff Mark Green owes $531 in excess fees to the fiscal court. Refer to Co. Atty. Morris for collection per KRS 64.820, with copy to AG. By letter to Sheriff dated 12/5/12, Co. Atty. demanded payment from Sheriff by 12/31/12.
  • Martin FEC 2011 — November 27, 2012/November 27, 2012$16,576 in undeposited receipts (money missing) and $5,512 in payments made to contract labor without documentation. Refer to KSP Det. Jason Dials.
  • Spencer FEC 2011 — January 22, 2013/January 22, 2013$4,655 in fees not recorded or deposited for CY 2011 (plus $23,573 for CY 2010 and $26,030 for CY 2009); personal checks cashed from fee account; $35,962 deficit in 2010 fee account; and W-2 amounts not reconciled to amounts actually paid to deputies. Refer to KSP Det. Steve Bryan and to the IRS and KDR.
  • Harlan FES 2011 — January 22, 2013/January 22, 2013$37,668 in drug-buy monies in the Sheriff’s office not accounted for. Refer to KSP Major Terry, Special Enforcement. Also, ethics issue referred to Co. Atty.
  • Russell STS 2011 — February 25, 2013/February 25, 2013$1,711 deficit in tax account due to undeposited receipts. Refer to AG Wilding.
  • Jackson FES 2011 — February 28, 2013/February 27, 2013$112,889 deficit in 2011 fee account, incl. $65,275 in payroll liabilities owed to fiscal court. Refer to Co. Atty. Hays, copy to AG.
  • Dayton Independent School District Examination — March 7, 2013/March 11, 2013 — Nearly $224,000 in benefits and payments over an 8 yr. period to former Supt. not authorized by School Board. Referred to FBI, KTRS, KDR, and SCSDA. Fmr. Supt., Gary Rye, pled guilty in federal court to embezzlement in Dec. 2013, to serve from 18 – 24 mos. in prison, plus pay $473,000 in restitution to school district.
  • Magoffin FC 2011 — March 11, 2013/March 11, 2013$39,030 paid to former county community center director not supported by payroll records, and $82,738 paid to her while on leave during 2010. Referred to KRS Jones, AG Wilding, Labor Cab. Dixon (Mike Donta), and Co. Atty. Allen.
  • Leslie STS 2011 — May 2, 2013/May 2, 2013$16,909 deficit in Sheriff’s tax accounts for 06 thru 11, some of which is due to cash shortages. Refer to AG Wilding.
  • Leslie FES 2011 — May 2, 2013/May 2, 2013$5,282 excess in gross pay to deputies for work not supported by activity logs showing when deputies actually worked – refer to AG Wilding; $1,335 in excess cell phone charges, and $1,025 in excess fees owed to county – refer to Co. Atty. Lewis.
  • Edmonson FEC 2011 — May 2, 2013/May 2, 2013$6,026 deficit in Clerk’s fee account, and $17,676 in questioned legal fees due to litigation with county. Refer to Co. Atty. Vincent.
  • Letcher FES 2011 — May 3, 2013/May 3, 2013$23,009 deficit in fee account, $10,422 of which is excess fees owed to the county. Refer to Co. Atty. Hatton, with cc to AG Wilding.
  • Owsley FEC 2011 — July 2, 2013/July 2, 2013$132,305 known deficit, $36,600 in unidentified cash deposited after year end, $48,101 owed but not paid in tax and retirement withholdings, and $73,328 in delinquent taxes received but not paid to taxing districts – refer to AG Wilder, IRS Blazier, KDR Saunders, KRS Jones, and Co. Atty. McIntosh. Clerk Sid Gabbard pled guilty 7/5/13 in Franklin Circuit Court to theft and abuse of public office, made $61,118 in restitution, and removed from office.
  • Kentucky Emergency ManagementAugust 6, 2013/August 6, 2013 — KYEM employees intimidated, threatened, documents altered, public funds purchased alcohol, entertainment, and door prizes, and conflict of interest involving the KYEM director – refer to US Dept. of Homeland Security – Nutt, AG Badaracco, and EBEC Steffen.
  • Boyle STS 2011 — August 12, 2013/August 12, 2013 — Undeposited receipts and tax overpayments not refunded to taxpayers – refer to KSP Terry.
  • Bell FEC 2011 — September 3, 2013/September 3, 2013 — Clerk did not cooperate with auditors; $1,263 in cash receipts not recorded or deposited; improper handling of documentation and fees re: repossessed vehicles and release of liens; irregular entry of info into AVIS resulting in overpayments to Clerk’s office – refer to AG Badaracco, KDR Gonzalez, KYTC Wilson, and Co. Atty. Clerk Rebecca Blevins charged with theft, criminal possession of a forged instrument, and official misconduct. On 3/28/14, Blevins resigned from office, and charges were dismissed.
  • Carter FC 2012 — August 20, 2013/September 5, 2013 — Irregularities in the purchase and sale of e-cigarettes at the County Detention Center – refer to AG Badaracco and KSP Terry.
  • Clinton FES 2012 — September 13, 2013/September 13, 2013$1,654 deficit in fee account due to issue receipts or deposit vehicle inspection fees – refer to AG Badaracco
  • Lewis FEC 2012 — September 13, 2013/September 13, 2013 — Improper payment of overtime by the Clerk – refer to KDOL Donta.
  • Martin County School District Special Examination — October 22, 2013/October 23, 2013 — Apparent noncompliance in the use of grant funds. Refer to KDE Desai.
  • Letcher FES 2012 — November 6, 2013/November 15, 2013$25,801 in excess fees owed to the county. Refer to Co. Atty.
  • Boyle STS 2012 — November 15, 2013/November 15, 2013 — Sheriff received tax payments that were not deposited, and $20,328 in tax overpayments were not refunded to taxpayers. Refer to KSP.
  • Montgomery County School District Examination Letter — December 17, 2013/December 17, 2013 — Issues related to the hiring of Superintendent’s spouse. Refer to LRC’s OEA Timmel-Hatzell.
  • City of Barbourville Examination — January 7, 2014/January 10, 2014 — (a) Timesheet and payroll irregularities, and contractor payments questioned: refer to AG Badaracco; (b) inaccurate timesheets and payment discrepancies: refer to CHFS/OIG Payne; (c) failure to file sales tax returns: refer to KDOR Haven; and (d) payments to Mayor’s spouse: refer to City Council for further referral to Cumberland Valley Regional Ethics Board.
  • Powell FES 2012 — January 24, 2014/January 24, 2014$12,635 deficit in fee account primarily due to expenditures exceeding receipts. Refer to AG Badaracco.
  • Edmonson FEC 2012 — January 24, 2014/January 24, 2014$10,312 in questioned costs for legal fees; $4,668 in excess fees from prior years owed to county; $6.026 deficit in fee account due to expenditures exceeding receipts. Refer to Co. Atty. Vincent.
  • City of Covington Examination — February 13, 2014/Verbal Referral Only$793,000 apparently stolen from the City by the former finance director, Bob Due. Verbal referral made to Kenton Com. Atty. Rob Sanders. On 3/13/14, Due pled guilty to Abuse of Public Trust >$100,000, Theft by Deception >$10,000, Unlawful Access to a Computer, and 12 counts of Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument, with recommended 15/yr. prison sentence by Com. Atty. Sanders. Sentencing set for 4/17/14.
  • Martin FEC 2012 — February 17, 2014/February 17, 2014$16.576 in undeposited receipts, and $2,682 paid to contract laborers w/o documentation. Refer to KSP Det. Dials (Pikeville)
  • Casey STS 2012 — February 27, 2014/February 27, 2014$2,575 discrepancy between cash collected and cash deposited. Refer to KSP Det. Snawder (Bowling Green)
  • Bluegrass ADD Examination — March 4, 2014/March 6, 2014 — Referral of various findings to DLG Wilder, AG Badaracco, KSP Brewer, KDWI Brinly, OIG-USDOL Dahl, OIG-CHFS Payne, Aging-CHFS Anderson, OIG-USDHHS Levinson, and FBI Kidd.
  • Owsley FEC 2012 & 2013 — April 15, 2014/April 16, 2014$307,768 in known cumulative deficit at the conclusion of Clerk Sid Gabbard’s tenure. Thousands owed to IRS, KRS, and taxing districts. Refer to AG Badaracco, IRS Blazier, KDR Saunders, KRS Jones, and Co. Atty. McIntosh.
  • Wolfe FC 2013 — June 17, 2014/June 17, 2014$48,422 of restricted CDBG funds used by County for purposes other than those related to the CDBG grant. Refer to DLG Russell. Also, $22,734 of KBEMS grant funds should be reimbursed by the County to the Ky. Board of Emerg. Med. Svcs. Refer to KBEMS Poynter.
  • Greenup FC 2013 — August 4, 2014/August 8, 2014$21,670 received by Co. Jailer in drug forfeiture assets. Refer to ODCP Ingram and DOCJT Todd to determine eligibility of Co. Jailer to receive drug forfeiture assets.
  • Kentucky Department of Agriculture Special Review — August 11, 2014/August 11, 2014 — Possible misuse of state resources by KDA personnel. Refer to EBEC Steffen.
  • Bell FEC 2012 — August 14, 2014/August 14, 2014 — Former Clerk did not provide auditors with docs needed to complete the audit; improprieties found in Clerk’s handling of paperwork & fees related to repossessed vehicles and the release of liens. Refer to AG Badaracco.
  • City of Taylorsville Examination Letter — August 18, 2014/September 4, 2014 — Report referred to KSP Propes at his request; no findings relating to possible criminal conduct.
  • CVG Examination — August 19, 2014/September 23, 2014 — Upon request of Co. Atty., matters related to the Kenton J/E’s appointment authority were referred to the Kenton Co. Ethics Commission.
  • Leslie STS 2012 & 2013 Reports of Various Taxes — October 1, 2014/October 1, 2014$8,640 deficit in 2012 Sheriff’s taxes, plus $16,909 in deficits in 2006 thru 2011 taxes, some of which are due to cash deposit shortages; refer to AG Badaracco.
  • Shelby County School District Examination — October 9, 2014/October 8, 2014$593,180 in apparently fraudulent activity. Refer to Com. Atty. Donnell, 53rd Judicial District, and to KSP Propes, as former payroll manager has been indicted for theft.
  • Leslie FES 2012 — October 20, 2014/October 22, 2014 — Deficits totaling almost $22,000 in fee accounts from 2006 – 2012; also, overtime paid but possibly not worked. Refer to AG Badaracco.
  • Jackson FES & STS 2012 — November 13, 2014/November 13, 2014 — Fee: $112,889 deficit in 2011 fee account has not been rectified; Tax: $5,217 deficit in 2012 tax account. Referred to AG Badaracco. Also, Fee audit shows $27,312 in excess fees owed to the county. Referred to Co. Atty. Hays
  • Powell FES 2013 — November 17, 2014/November 19, 2014$12,635 deficit in 2012 fee account. Refer to AG Badaracco.
  • McCracken FC 2013 — November 17, 2014/November 19, 2014 — Possible violation of county ethics code involving county employee also contracting business with the county. Refer to Co. Atty. Murphy to investigate & determine whether referral to county ethics board is appropriate.
  • Laurel FC 2013 — December 4, 2014/December 5, 2014 — Contract process issues with home incarceration fees paid by the county to GPMS service provider. Refer to AG Badaracco and AOC Dudgeon.
  • Floyd FC 2013 — December 11, 2014/December 15, 2014 — Fiscal irregularities related to the Co. J/E involving vendor invoicing and county funds expended w/o proper authorization. This is a CPA audit the APA is referring to the AG Badaracco.
  • Southeast Bullitt Fire Protection District Examination — January 15, 2015/January 15, 2015 — District appears to be a SPGE and has not registered as such. Refer to DLG Wilder
  • LaRue STS 2011 & 2012, LaRue FES 2012 & 2013 — January 20, 2015/January 15, 2015 — Four audits of former Sheriff showing: (1) $24,542 unidentified deposit made to, and $5,542 deficit in, 2011 tax account; (2) $6,051 deposit made to 2012 tax account of unidentified receipts; (3) $7,470 deficit in 2012 fee account, a $30,400 payroll expenditure questioned, a $9590 debt owed by former Sheriff to PAC, $14,273 in undocumented drut forfeiture account expenditures; and (4) $500 not deposited to drug account. Refer to AG Badaracco. Also, $15,597 excess fees owed to Fiscal Court from 2013 fee account – refer to Co. Attorney Morris.
  • Harlan FES 2012 & 2013 — February 26, 2015/March 2, 2015$9,400 in drug buy moneys unaccounted for – refer to KSP Withers; vehicles not properly registered – refer to KYTC Snyder.
  • Magoffin FES 2013 — March 11, 2015/March 16, 2015 — Sheriff withheld payments from employee payroll checks for FICA, Retirement, and Federal & State taxes, but did not remit these funds to the proper agencies: $31,096 to the IRS for FICA, $16,373 to fiscal court for CERS, and $640 for payroll tax withholdings. Refer to IRS, KDR, KRS, and OAG.
  • Martin FEC 2013 — March 18, 2015/March 23, 2015$1,500 deficit in Clerk’s fee account due to undeposited receipts. Refer to AG Badaracco.
  • Simpson FES 2013 & STS 2013 — March 31, 2015/April 2, 2015$1,120 total from both audits of undeposited receipts. Refer to KSP Snawder.
  • Edmonson FEC 2013 — May 12, 2015/May 15, 2015 — Former Clerk’s office changed social security numbers in the AVIS vehicle registration system to avoid delinquent tax payments. Refer to AG Badaracco, KYTC Goodman, and KDR Saunders. Also, $6,026 deficit referred to AG. Also, excess fees findings referred to Co. Atty. Hines.
  • Fairview Independent School District Exam — June 29, 2015/July 7, 2015 — Referred entire exam to AG Badaracco, and to the EPSB Brown.
  • Letcher FES 2013 — July 16, 2015/July 20, 2015$23,009 deficit from 2011 still outstanding. Sheriff owed funds to his office’s 2012 fee account, and excess fees to the County. Refer to AG Badaracco and Co. Atty. Hatton.

You can see that several of those cases Conway not only didn’t act on, the feds had to get involved. One of the key talking points Edelen and company used when they were still flirting with a gubernatorial bid.

Here’s what it looks like on a map:


It’s a list that grew exponentially over time. Really eye-opening to see what Conway hasn’t acted on. Even more eye-opening that Edelen is afraid to call him out on it — using it to smear his track record behind the scenes and with media — but afraid to stand up in public for the people who desperately need him across the Commonwealth.

Forget everything we’ve uncovered in Montgomery County that Edelen’s staff refuse to act on, saying they’re not digging in any deeper because Conway won’t act. Forget all that. Look at everything else on the list. Dozens of scandals. Millions upon millions of taxpayer dollars unaccounted for or otherwise called into question. Almost never any action taken.

What was that, again, about accountability? Judgment? Standing up for what’s right?

The only thing more hypocritical is Edelen (his people) shopping around a nearly 400-page report from the Louisville Metro Police Department regarding Jack Conway and his brother. But you won’t hear him mention that publicly either.

Harmon Releases Monstrous Statement

Woah, Mike Harmon has released the longest statement ever:

Contrary to what my opponent might say, I did not expect nor was I aware that an indictment was forthcoming for my Campaign Consultant Jesse Benton. My opponent has tried to say that I have poor judgement for working with Jesse with knowledge of a past accusation. However, after Jesse reached out to me initially and we discussed that accusation, I was satisfied that those were just that,accusations and, that the issue was settled.

If I based my campaign on rumors instead of data collected, then our campaign would have focused on the many rumors of my opponent’s infidelity in what I understand was his first marriage while he worked in the governor’s office. However, we chose to focus on his record as Auditor and mine as State Representative.

Even with this new knowledge of an indictment, as far as I know, Jesse has not had a chance to testify or have his day in court. I am thankful that we still live in a country where you are innocent until proven guilty. I also had to pause, as this comes from an administration who has failed to prosecute voter intimidation,allowed the IRS to harass and intimidate conservatives, and has allowed a group such as Planned Parenthood to systematically murder and then illegally harvest the parts of innocent unborn children for profit.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not making light of the seriousness of these charges, but there is an old saying that with the right people you can indict a ham sandwich and sad to say we have seen many a good man (and woman) falsely accused, had their name dragged through the mud, only to find out years later after the damage was done that they were in fact innocent.

But with that said, a decision has to be made whether I will continue with Jesse’s services or not. Although it saddens me and certainly does not speak to my belief one way or the other regarding Jesse’s innocence, it would only serve as a distraction to a campaign that is running a great race against an incumbent.

With that in mind, today Jesse has agreed to step completely away from the campaign until such time he can fully resolve this issue. It will take a little time to settle up and transfer some online assets, but hopefully that can be done quickly. I will now be working solely with Gus Herbert.

I wish Jesse the best of luck both for this issue and his future. We will certainly keep him in our prayers.

I wish Jesse the best of luck both for this issue and his future. We will certainly keep him in our prayers.

Here is just a taste:
1) We will point out Adam’slack of thoroughness
A) Adam turned in his Statement of Financial Disclosure late. It was due on 2/15 and it was not received and date stamped until 2/19. Small yes, but symptomatic of his process
B) Conversations with officials of late audits
C) Conversations with officials especially in small counties of audits costing 2 to 3 times of that of a private audit.
D) Bills being received without the audit
E) Of 60 to 70 audits we found referred for potential additional prosecution, only 6 to 8 had additional action taken. I know this is the Attorney General’s job, but with all that extra time Jack Conway had from not defending traditional marriage, you would think he had time to look into some of these items. Adam needed to followup.
2) We will point out Adam’slack of transparency
A) Refused to fill out KY Right to Life Questionnaire (I was endorsed by The KY Right to Life)
B) Something small, but Adam was outraged that I pointed out at Fancy Farm that he went to school in Louisville, but this was just a friendly jab consistent with Fancy Farm and only hit home because at the time of my speech and this writing I can find no evidence on his website that he attended school in Louisville. I never said his attendance was a bad thing, just interesting that he shelters that part of his life.
3) We will continue point out Adam’s discrepancies In January, Adam put his support behind the 3.3 Billion Bonding for KTRS fo…s,but when challenged by my campaign he said he never said that and the bonding was a bad idea.

And finally we will continue to fight for every citizen born and unborn. We will work to preserve the retirement systems for those who have planned based on promises while understanding that new people coming in may need to see changes in the system.

Oh, and by the way, Adam, I wrote 85% to 90% of my Fancy Farm Speech. If I had used Jesse’s you would probably been more flustered than you were. You are welcome.

I’m looking forward to closing strong and I’ll see you at thefinish line.

Thanks and God Bless, Mike

Also included at the bottom is my call to Adam regarding Planned Parenthood, but it appears it was not published anywhere.

While I have your attention, I might as well include that.

Mike Harmon Demands action from Adam Edelen on Planned Parenthood

Candidate calls for Audit of Kentucky Cabinetfor Health and Family Services
Date: August 3, 2015
Contact: Gus Herbert, TELEPHONE REDACTED

FRANKFORT, KY – Rep. Mike Harmon, Republican candidate for Kentucky State Auditor, today called on Adam Edelen to perform an Audit of the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family services to ensure that our Federal taxpayer funds were not routed from the Cabinet to the scandal plagued Planned Parenthood organization.

Said Rep. Harmon,”In his Fancy Farm speech, Adam Edelen called for politicians to respect family values and to honor the books of Mathew, Mark, Luke and John. The recent revelations that Planned Parenthood has sold the body parts of aborted babies for a profit is nothing short of barbaric and an affront to those who hold Christian values”.

“I call on Adam Edelen to stand by his own words and join me in demanding that Planned Parenthood be defunded. Kentuckians who believe abortion kills innocent life should never be forced to pay for it”.

“Furthermore, I call on Adam Edelen to conduct an audit of the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services to identify if any federal tax dollars are flowing to Planned Parenthood through the Cabinet so we can be sure that our state agencies aren’t being used to support this organization. Kentuckians should never be forced to prop up an organization whose actions so directly contradict our values. Mr.Edelen’s decision to join me or ignore me will be a good indication as to whether he does in fact share our values or whether his call is simply empty rhetoric from an ambitious politician.”

Last week, after repeated requests for information, a high- ranking official with the Kentucky Cabinet for Health & Family Services admitted that it provided at least$331,300 in taxpayer funding from the Federal government through local health departments to Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky. Currently, there is no accurate mechanism to show Kentucky taxpayers precisely how much money flows to the controversial organization through state agencies.

Jesse Benton made the right move by stepping away but what on earth was that?

Greg Stumbo always has it right with the 5 Bs. Be Brief, Brother, Be Brief.

Auditor’s Recommendations For School Districts Reads Like A Tribute To Joshua Powell And Montgomery County

Yesterday State Auditor of Public Accounts Adam Edelen released 75 recommendations to “help school districts become more efficient and effective in their use of taxpayer dollars.”

From a release:

The recommendations are contained in a report that was developed based on findings during the Auditor’s office examinations of 21 school districts since 2012. Districts are not required to adopt all recommendations in the report; however, they are encouraged to review and identify recommendations that could be implemented in their districts to improve fiscal oversight, Auditor Edelen said.

“We identified several significant issues in recent school district examinations across the Commonwealth,” Auditor Edelen said. “Many of the lessons learned in those exams are contained in this report and should aid school boards, superintendents and district management in providing significant financial oversight and strong internal controls to maximize the fiscal operations of their districts.”

The report recommends ways to provide adequate financial oversight, prevent potential conflicts of interest, prevent wasteful spending and improve the protection of confidential student data. Further, the report recommends school boards establish budget and audit subcommittees to strengthen internal oversight.

Education Commissioner Terry Holliday welcomed the Auditor’s recommendations.


The report also calls for boards to establish processes for district employees to submit concerns to the board about questionable activities, including the actions of the superintendent.

“No person should be at risk of losing his or her job for reporting a supervisors’ indiscretion. In each district there needs to be a clear policy in place that allows staff members to report their concerns,” Edelen said.

The huge list is broken down into quote a few categories:

  • Recommendations to Board to Provide Oversight
  • Recommendations to Board Related to Superintendent Contract and Expenditures
  • Recommendations to Board for Procurement
  • Recommendations to Board Regarding Travel Reimbursement
  • Recommendations to Board Regarding School District Vehicle and Gasoline Usage
  • Recommendations to Superintendents Regarding School District Operations
  • Recommendations to Management for Training
  • Recommendations to Management Impacting Human Resources and Payroll
  • Recommendations to Management Related to Procurement
  • Recommendations to Management Addressing Travel Reimbursement
  • Recommendations to Management Involving Vehicle Related Issues
  • Recommendations to Management Regarding IT Policies and Procedures
  • Recommendations to Management Involving Data Classification, Incident Handling, Outdated Software, and Vulnerability Recommendations
  • Recommendations to Management for the Sanitization of Surplus Technology Equipment
  • Recommendations to Management for System User Access
  • Recommendations to Management Regarding System Passwords
  • Recommendations to Management for System Configuration
  • Recommendations to Management for Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plans
  • Recommendations to Management Regarding Data and Document Retention
  • Recommendations to to Site Based Decision Making Councils to Develop Specific Policies and Procedures to Oversee Activity Funds

Some highlights:

  • We recommend the Board develop and distribute to all staff a policy detailing the process for district staff to submit concerns to the Board related to questionable activities impacting the district, including actions of the superintendent. This policy should allow for employees to report issues to the Board in a manner that will not jeopardize their employment.
  • The Board should adopt a comprehensive policy to address nepotism involving the employment and supervision of relatives in compliance with KRS 160.380.
  • We recommend the Board adopt a policy that the Superintendent report all personnel actions to the Board, as required by KRS 160.390.
  • The full Board, Board Chair, or a designated Board committee should review the Superintendent’s credit card purchases to ensure the transactions are reasonable in amount, necessary, and properly supported by receipts or other appropriate documentation. Due to credit card transactions not being readily transparent, it is imperative the Board review these transactions to be aware of all expenses related to the Superintendent.
  • All reimbursement requests submitted by the Superintendent to the district should be provided to the full Board, Board Chair, or a designated Board committee. The Board should require the District’s financial officer to conduct an initial review of the Superintendent’s reimbursement request, sign the request to document the review, and submit any concerns or issues to the Board before approval of the reimbursement request is made. The full Board, Board Chair, or a designated Board committee should review and document the approval or other action taken regarding the Superintendent’s requests for reimbursement and ensure the transactions are reasonable, necessary, and compliant with the contract.
  • We recommend the Board adopt the Kentucky Model Procurement Code and follow KRS 45A.385 for small purchases. This policy should require procurements in excess of $20,000 to be competitively bid or otherwise competitively procured to ensure the best and most economical selection is made. The policy should not allow split or divided purchases and projects to circumvent the bidding requirements for procurements in excess of $20,000.
  • The Board should pre-approve all out-of-state travel for the Superintendent, other district employees, and Board members, including travel for professional development.
  • The Superintendent should notify the full Board, Board Chair, or a designated Board committee when taking annual, sick, professional, or other leave for a scheduled contract work-day. The notification should be documented in writing.
  • To facilitate compliance with the Kentucky Department of Education’s (KDE) Accounting Procedures for Kentucky School Activity Funds, we recommend Site Based Decision Making Councils develop school specific policies and procedures to oversee activity funds. These policies and procedures should be designed to ensure financial transactions of the activity funds are properly accounted for, reported, and used for the benefit of the students. We also recommend that the Site Based Decision Making Council inform all external booster organizations of the requirements of activity accounts according to KDE’s Accounting Procedures for Kentucky School Activity Funds, as well as any school specific policies and procedures developed.

It’s like a tribute to everything Joshua Powell-related.

Click here (Warning: External PDF) to access the document.

Film Tax Credit Should Be Expanded

HELP PROTECT OUR SOURCES! Stop the Montgomery County-Joshua Powell-Phil Rison insanity! [CLICK HERE]

Nonprofit co-ops, the health care law’s public-spirited alternative to mega-insurers, are awash in red ink and many have fallen short of sign-up goals, a government audit has found. [H-L]

Few aspects of policing attract more scrutiny than an officer’s use of force. And as people around the nation continue to voice concerns about the sometimes contentious relationship between citizens and law enforcement, it’s become clear that police and the policed often have drastically different interpretations of the same incidents. [HuffPo]

Every year, the politicians trot out their best one liners at the Fancy Farm Picnic, where they are more likely to mock their opponents for past flubs than they are to talk about serious policy matters. [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump is staking his run for U.S. president in part on a vow to protect American jobs. But this month, one of his companies, the elite Mar-a-Lago Club resort in Florida, applied to import 70 foreign workers to serve as cooks, wait staff and cleaners. A Reuters analysis of U.S. government data reveals that this is business as usual in the New York property magnate’s empire. [Reuters]

Native walleye have returned to the Kentucky River after a decades-long absence. Fisheries employees with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources stocked more than 25,000 native southern strain walleye in the three forks of the Kentucky River above Lock and Dam 14 near Beattyville. The walleye, measuring 2-3 inches, went into the river last month. [Richmond Register]

Juan Emmanuel Razo, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico, was arrested last week on murder charges for allegedly shooting and wounding a woman in Ohio. [ThinkProgress]

Hollywood is spending its money in the Bluegrass and the Oldham County city of La Grange is already feeling the impact of a new investment in the film industry recently passed by Kentucky lawmakers. [WAVE3]

Republicans might as well face it. They’re addicted to Trump. [Politico]

Adam Edelen, current Kentucky Auditor who’s running for re-election, on Saturday faced off against Republican opponent Mike Harmon, who said Edelen’s low name recognition throughout the state could be damaging in this race, and perhaps beyond. [Ashland Independent]

The first debate of the 2016 presidential campaign season is Thursday, Aug. 6. With so many Republican candidates trying to get on stage, what should voters be looking for? [NPR]

Matt Jones, the popular host of a radio sports talk show, stepped on some powerful toes Saturday while playing the part of Fancy Farm political speaking emcee in a non-traditional way. [Ronnie Ellis]

President Barack Obama just finalized his plan to fight climate change. The EPA’s new rules will crack down on emissions from coal-fired power plants. [Mother Jones]

Just what Eastern Kentucky needs. Another prison. Hal Rogers says an environmental impact study has suggested a site in Letcher County for a new federal prison. [H-L]

The union representing a white police officer charged with murdering a black man during a traffic stop wants to help him get his job back. [HuffPo]

Where There’s Smoke, There’s Fire…?

Thought it’d be a good idea to share a comment left on a story about Adam Edelen’s review of Fairview Independent Schools:

“Eyes rolling back in your head?

Meanwhile, in Montgomery County…”

Yeah, as a matter of fact they are. The similarities to Montgomery County are shocking, aren’t they?

Phil Rison submits $342,000 in “booster spending” for ONE YEAR on NONEXISTENT FACILITIES that the board knew nothing about. And the documentation shows that there hadn’t been any booster spending on facilities for the three previous years. The documentation also proves that boosters did NOT raise anywhere NEAR $342,000. The documentation acquired by Page One proves that report to be FRAUDULENT…….

Where is Edelen?!

Proof of Conspiracy To Commit Fraud is the term EDELEN’S OWN PEOPLE used to describe text messages between Kristi Carter, daycare director, and Mary Smith, her secretary. This is in itself something that could be prosecuted. ACCORDING TO EDELEN’S OWN PEOPLE. Not to mention an independent school auditor and CPA who was shown the messages. Those messages were the sort of things that would seem to make a state auditor really dig in, being as it was they were directly handed to them. But, nope.

Edelen turned a blind eye, made excuses, whatever. This is the tip of the iceberg. On a positive note, he did nail Powell for hiring his wife. Now he should go after the Powell’s for the illegally paid salary.

Yes, it’s more than enough to make one’s eyes roll back in their head. Practically with an audible “snap”.

Some of the stories referenced in that comment:

  • Edelen Ignoring Messes In Montgomery Co., Too? [October 23, 2013]
  • More Montgomery County Teasers For Edelen [October 25, 2013]
  • Auditor: Joshua Powell Illegally Hired His Wife [December 17, 2013]
  • Investigation Uncovers Massive Spending Scandal In Montgomery Co Schools Involving Phil Rison, Others [May 11, 2015]
  • Montgomery County Funds STILL Unreported In Title IX Documentation [June 1, 2015]
  • Eyebrow-Raising MoCo Title IX Data [June 2, 2015]
  • Records Don’t Support Montgomery County Schools’ Title IX Booster Spending For Facilities Claims [June 15, 2015]
  • On Bookkeeping & Secrecy In MoCo [June 30, 2015]

Nothing to see here, move along, attack the messenger, scream defamation, act as if there’s no reason for concern…