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 Agriculture — April 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 District — October 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 Management — August 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:
CLICK TO ENLARGE
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.