State Rep. Keith Hall has responded to the Appalachian News-Express story which we shared with you earlier. Susan Klimchak, Director of Communications for Majority Leader Rocky Adkins, says the paper will likely publish Hall’s remark in a day or two.
Here’s Hall’s statement in its entirety:
Yesterday and last night I received several phone calls while in Special Session here in Frankfort from Russ Cassidy (sic) at the Appalachian News Express.
We worked until after 8:30 last night in Special Session and Russ left several messages for me pertaining to House Bill 1.
House Bill 1 is Speaker Greg Stumbo’s budget bill. I first read and approved House Bill 1 in the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee on Monday. The bill came to the House floor for a full vote later that day, where it passed by a vote of 68-28.
The Pike County delegation all voted in favor of this legislation.
House Bill 1 was sent to the Senate where it became Senate Committee Substitute 1 and was referred to the Senate and House Conference Committee to settle differences. It was approved and passed by all conferees.
Since I have been in this Special Session, I have voted in favor of House Bill 1, House Bill 3 and House Bill 4.
I voted against House Bill 2, the racinos/slots/gambling bill. Pertaining to House Bill 1, I did not submit, authorize, or sponsor any language at any time.
House leadership released a statement yesterday to the press that it was their language, their authorship and their sponsorship of House Bill 1.
I am submitting the official vote of House Bill 1 to validate this statement.
I hope this clarifies any misunderstandings or misconceptions about this particular legislation.
Keith says he didn’t submit, authorize or sponsor any language at any time. But he doesn’t say he had nothing to do with the specifics of the water board shenanigans. Did he have anything to do with it? Is that what Leadership and Hall are denying? Further, if Hall is to be free of ethical taint, why didn’t he abstain from voting, as this clearly and directly benefits him personally?
We asked those questions of Klimchak and here’s the response we received:
Rep. Keith Hall’s company was one of five bidders that was asked to submit sealed bids on a water and sewer project that had been awarded to Kenvirons, Inc., (a Frankfort Kentucky engineering firm) by Mountain Water District. Rep. Hall’s company was a subcontractor for that project.
Membership on the board has nothing to do with the selection of subcontractors by Kenvirons. Rep. Hall does not sit on the board, no do any of his family members. He has nothing to do with the Mountain Water District other than submitting bids when requested by the engineering firm that was awarded the contract.
Rep. Hall has no conflict, therefore, he did not need to abstain from voting. The language impacts all water districts throughout the commonwealth. Customers of the district, who may not live within the geographic area, should have a voice on local water boards, and this legislation provides that opportunity.
Not surprisingly, our question about Hall’s involvement with the legislation was not answered. Imagine that. Now we’re free to draw our own conclusions.
And again, to be free of ethical taint and the appearance of impropriety, why didn’t Keith Hall abstain from voting? Other legislators abstain from voting when they’ve got even less on the line. So why wouldn’t Hall follow suit?
Man, Frankfort is awesome.
This is 2009. Kentucky’s economy is in shambles. State government is loaded down with corruption and shady shenanigans. And we no longer have time for the bullshiz.
So. If you’re not involved, Mr. Hall, say so. Issue a full and complete denial and be specific. Otherwise? Good luck in future elections. Cause it appears that the Appalachian News-Express will not be letting you off the hook. Good on them for pursuing openness and transparency.