More Trouble For Henry
In ’03, ex-Miss America Heather French Henry used $50K from the Heather French Foundation for Veterans to publish a series of children’s books. The foundation’s biggest contributor that year was a non-profit tied to Leonard Lawson, “one of the state’s largest road contractors and most prolific political contributors.” At the time, Steve Henry (D) was in office as LG. Henry, through a spokesperson, said he had no contact with the Lawsons about the foundation. Heather’s books didn’t make money, and “now they are the subject of a lawsuit” in Jefferson Circuit Court [Sarah Vos, Herald-Leader, 5/13/2007]
Mark Hebert: The problem with secret money
Lawson’s company, Mountain Enterprises, appealed the state of Kentucky’s sales tax bill for $795,000 on the purchase of a $13,250,000 aircraft. After penalties and interest, the state revenue department said Mountain owed $965,000. As the appeal was headed to hearing, both sides agreed to a settlement that is undisclosed. One source familiar with the case told me it was for about half the original tax bill or close to $400,000. State law prohibits the release of that information so my sources number could not be confirmed.
The settlement occurred April 27, less than a month before election day. Lawson and his wife and son, who’s president of Mountain Enterprises, all gave $1000 to Fletcher’s campaign last year. There’s a legitimate question to be raised from this…..did the Lawsons get a sweetheart deal because they’re Fletcher supporters? Did the Lawsons recently give to Fletcher’s defense fund and, in return, get a break on their tax bill? Again, this appears on its face to be a routine, legitimate dispute over taxes owed that resulted in a settlement both parties could live with. But with Fletcher keeping the names and donations to his legal defense fund secret, who knows? [Clicky Clicky]