Big Theft Allegations Plague Republican Jessamine Judge-Executive Candidate, Police Reports Included

Stop the dying newspaper presses — shenanigans aren’t unique to Democrats in Jessamine County.

By now it’s no secret that Kevin Corman, the Democratic sheriff, has a bit of a mess on his hands.

But what has flown under the radar is a financial scandal involving David West, a Republican running for Jessamine County Judge-Executive. He’s facing retiring Democratic State Representative Bob Damron, a man we’ve spent years hating. Because, really, what’s to like about him? Keep that in mind as you digest the rest of this. It’s a cold day in hell when we publish something that helps him in any way.

This is David West:


DAVID WEST

Here’s one of his campaign ads:




Beginning in 1992 (records suck, tough to get a specific date) he served on the board in some capacity with the Central Kentucky Funeral Limousine Association. More than 20 years of service — many (all? again, records aren’t clear) of those years as treasurer. So it’s beyond surprising he wouldn’t list that service as one of his accomplishments. Right?

You’d think a man with all this to say to his local newspaper about budgets and finance would include something so major:

West has not held public office but has served on Nicholasville Planning and Zoning’s Board of Adjustments and the Nicholasville/Jessamine County Parks and Recreation board, as well as being an active parent in Jessamine County schools and member in the Jessamine County Chamber of Commerce. West said he has been a businessman in Jessamine County for 35 years and has good relationships with the county’s representatives in Frankfort.

When it comes to taxes and the budget, West said he plans to do a comprehensive review of the budget, “shaking some rust off the pipes” and looking for efficiency.

“The budget is something that has to be looked at every year, and I want to do a thorough review of each of our departments from top to bottom and look at ways we might improve our service and improve our fiscal responsibility,” West said.

But he didn’t. And we’ve finally figured out why he’s tried to make people forget about that huge portion of his life.

In January 2011 the head of the Limo Association, Greg Powell, contacted Nicholasville Police to report the organization had discovered thousands of dollars had been stolen by David West. At the time of the initial police report, checks totaling $6,647.50 from October 2006 — made out to the Limo Association — had been signed by West and deposited into his personal bank account.

Here’s the initial police report:



CLICK EACH TO ENLARGE

At the time West told detectives his son, Kelly, had (from police documentation) “taken the Limo Service checks, forged his name and deposited them into his bank account then turned around and withdrew the money from that account.” You read that correctly. He claimed his son was able to forge his signature, deposit the checks into his dad’s account and withdraw the funds. At a small town bank in Nicholasville where everybody knows everybody. Without anyone — even him — noticing.

West agreed to provide police with bank statements to prove his son had withdrawn funds shortly after deposits were made but… wait for it… he never did.

A few days later, Powell, head of the group, called the detectives to advise West denied wrongdoing but promised to repay the Association in full. Powell requested that the investigation be closed because he considered it a civil matter. And that was that with the NPD.

Unfortunately for West, that’s not the end of the story. Current board members allege to us on condition we not reveal their names (you can find them on the Secretary of State’s website, as we explained to them) that West hasn’t just repaid $6,600. They’ve been able to produce cancelled checks from West and his wife repaying tens of thousands of dollars. As in inching toward $50,000 that they can find, tons more that they can’t. And he wants to be Judge-Executive of Jessamine County, managing government finances, handling taxpayer funds.

We reached out to West for an explanation but he’s provided none. Members of the Limo Association are adamant this is just the tip of the iceberg but they don’t want to deal with this publicly because of fear of retribution.

So let’s recap this. Tens of thousands of dollars were stolen from the Central Kentucky Funeral Limousine Association, of which David West was the longtime treasurer. Treasurer. The treasurer — the man who manages the money — somehow overlooked thousands of dollars entering and leaving his personal bank account while at the same time not noticing that thousands of dollars were missing from the Limo Association’s account. And only did the right thing after a police investigation was launched.

People are obviously innocent until proven guilty but the appearance of impropriety here is high. Along the lines of a hot mess. Maybe even a flustercuck.

There must be something in the water in Nicholasville. Goodness gracious.

Breathitt County Is Basically A Giant, Hot Mess

Fascinating to see WKYT finally get interested in the Joshua Powell mess. Unfortunately, the station continues a string of lazy, unoriginal reporting in Lexington by not only using our footage (hello? you can see our logo on screen for a moment) but not bothering to provide proper attribution. That’s effectively plagiarism and the station has spent the entire day making excuses instead of correcting the problem. What we told the station manager was probably just an honest mistake now seems like questionable integrity. Reporters in Louisville have been fired for less. [WKYT]

UPDATE TIME! WKYT’s head honchos are apparently unfamiliar with what a PR nightmare this can be. Miranda Combs apologized via email at 10:16 A.M. and then her bosses, Robert Thomas and Chris Mossman, spent all day making excuses. Even after their reporter admitted fault. Rather than issue a correction or properly attribute content that I own (and they effectively stole), they’re just playing stupid. Fascinating how that works. WKYT is caught plagiarizing and they fail to see why that’s problematic.

In their efforts to take over the state House this year, Republicans have lost a candidate. [H-L & Press Releases]

Despite federal and state attempts to intervene during the two months since 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot and killed, the Ferguson Police Department continued — and even accelerated — efforts to suppress peaceful protests using arbitrary and inconsistently applied arrest policies, according to Justice Department officials who are investigating the department and county police officials who have since taken over for the city. [WaPo]

The newspaper had no problem running nonsense about me pushed by Democratic Party folks in 2011. No problem running claims that Chris Hightower was the antichrist or whatever. And no problem publishing information editors know to be false about Metro Animal Services provided by Greg Fischer’s staff. But suddenly has all kinds of problems running a video featuring Crit Luallen just because it was produced by some corrupt wingnut? Okay, sure. [C-J/AKN]

The co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus on Wednesday called for the Federal Communications Commission to regulate broadband Internet service as a public utility. [The Hill]

Two Richmond men, one of them armed with a pistol, broke into a northern Madison County home early Tuesday morning, but they ended up in a Lexington hospital after being overtaken by residents. [Richmond Register]

Auditor Adam Edelen yesterday released a special examination of the Shelby County School District, finding that a former payroll manager accused of stealing nearly $600,000 appeared to have too much access to the payroll system and too little oversight. [Press Release]

Boyd County Judge-Executive candidates Kenny Parker and Steve Towler have enjoyed a fairly clean race thus far, as is evident in their photo together at the Fairview High School Homecoming Parade posted to Parker’s Facebook account with the caption, “It’s all good. It’s all friendly.” [Ashland Independent]

Former U.S. Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao will visit Bellarmine University to discuss her perspectives on business and politics on Wednesday, October 22, at 7 p.m. [Press Release]

The Edmonton City Council approved on second reading Monday two ordinances setting tax rates. [Glasgow Daily Times]

This may be one of the funniest Alison Grimes-related stories we’ve ever read. But it wasn’t until they got to Kentucky that canvassers remembered to be careful not to connect Democratic candidates there with Obama. [GW Hatchet]

With the current school year in full swing, the Perry County Board of Education held the first of two special called board meetings last Tuesday to approve a final budget for 2014-15. [Hazard Herald]

Two years ago, the people of Lexington, KY, became Time Warner Cable customers when the company acquired Insight Communications. Now TWC is being bought by Comcast, meaning Lexington residents would be switched again. [Consumerist]

In Breathitt County, one of Kentucky’s poorest places, property owners are suing the school superintendent to force the repeal and refund of a tax increase that’s expected to raise $76,938 this fiscal year for the cash-strapped county schools. [John Cheves]

That sound you hear? It was a bunch of LRC folks being nominated for a Teamwork Award: Cassaundra Cooper, Yolanda Costner, Nicole Cusic, Judy Fritz, Jamie Griffin, and Gloria Morgan. [Emails & Press Releases]

The Stumbo Crew Is Mad About Coal Money

Lexington is likely to join a growing number of Kentucky communities in banning electronic cigarettes in most indoor workplaces. [H-L]

In a recent campaign ad for Republican Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky woman tells of how the U.S. Senate’s minority leader fought to help get her daughter back from war-torn West Africa in a custody battle that spanned two years, two governments and two continents. [HuffPo]

While Americans at the International Conference of Horse Racing Authorities spoke against raceday medication on Monday, comments by Gov. Steve Beshear in an interview with a leading thoroughbred trade publication appeared more general about the debate that vexes racing. [C-J/AKN]

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) lowers its forecast for global economic growth for both this year and next and warns the recovery is “weak and uneven”. [BBC]

Kathy Groob’s husband, Jeff Groob, is still up to some… shenanigans… with the Gateway Community and Technical College. Seems Groob has no concept of what’s legal. [RCN]

Democrats are less enthusiastic at this point than they have been in at least the last four midterm elections. And that includes the big GOP wave year of 2010. [WaPo]

After three years of debating the issue, the Berea City Council voted down a proposed fairness ordinance. [WFPL]

When asked by The Enquirer how she could get her plan passed, she answered by calling McConnell names. [Cincinnasti.com]

Health care was the issue at hand for U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell at an informal meeting held at St. Joseph Martin Hospital on Tuesday afternoon. [Floyd County Times]

As the FCC considers how to regulate Internet providers, the telecom industry’s stealth campaign for hearts and minds encompasses everything from art installations to LOLcats. [ProPublica]

It wasn’t a run-of-the-mill emcee’s welcome to a guest speaker at Tuesday evening’s Scott County Democrat Party’s Roosevelt Dinner. [Ronnie Ellis]

If you aren’t following the Illinois pension mess, you should. Challenges to Illinois’ pension reform law remained on track for a ruling by yearend after a judge on Wednesday ordered both sides back in court next month to argue their cases. [Reuters]

Pike County officials are challenging in court the state legislature’s creation this year of a special process for the county to obtain coal severance tax proceeds, including a provision that requires state officials to consult with the county’s legislative delegation. [H-L]

Brittany Maynard is planning to die on Nov. 1, and she’s fighting to expand end-of-life choices for others in similar situations. [HuffPo]

Ark Parkers Are Losing Their Minds This Week

A controversial plan to award $18 million in state tax incentives to a religious-themed amusement park that plans to feature a life-sized Noah’s Ark in Grant County could be in jeopardy because of potential hiring discrimination. [H-L]

21 numbers that explain why the time to address climate change is right now. Or maybe yesterday. [HuffPo]

After two polls in his favor, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has slipped behind Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes in his re-election bid, according to the latest Bluegrass Poll. [C-J/AKN]

More than six months after a bill that would improve coordination and oversight of the for-profit college industry was introduced in the Senate and House, a number of state attorneys general have signed on in support. [Consumerist & Press Releases]

Alison Daddy’s Name Grimes doesn’t realize that what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. She’s done the same crap the wingnuts are doing to her. Attacking staffers, volunteers, donors. [BGDN]

Exposure in pregnancy to a chemical commonly found in plastics and cans — known as bisphenol A, or BPA — may increase a child’s risk of breathing problems, researchers say. [CBS News]

According to the Kentucky Department of Education assessments, Caverna Independent Schools district scored a 57.9 overall and a Needs Improvement classification. [Glasgow Daily Times]

British planes are involved in a third air campaign over Iraq in 23 years. But the RAF has bombed Iraq before – more than 90 years ago. [BBC]

The honesty of political ads is constantly being challenged. Ads, be they television, radio, or web-based, are swirling around us everywhere we look. [Ashland Independent]

Missouri authorities are drawing up contingency plans and seeking intelligence from U.S. police departments on out-of-state agitators, fearing that fresh riots could erupt if a grand jury does not indict a white officer for killing a black teen. [Reuters]

The Rowan County Fiscal Court is still seeking suitable land for the construction of a new correctional facility. You can bet some well-connected person is going to make bank on this deal. [The Morehead News]

A company that sues soldiers pledges reform and changes its name. [ProPublica]

A majority of Kentucky voters continue to view the economy as the top issue facing the United States, but a growing number say foreign policy is the nation’s top concern, according to the latest Bluegrass Poll. [H-L]

Twitter on Tuesday filed suit against the FBI and the Justice Department, seeking the ability to release detailed information on government surveillance of Twitter users. [HuffPo]

They Love To Spend Cash At Kentucky River ADD

How is it the Kentucky River Area Development District can afford to take a big staff retreat to Gatlinburg?

How can the taxpayer afford to pay for a big vacation?

If this were just about training, couldn’t Kentucky River ADD utilize of Kentucky’s terrific state parks? Or even a community college facility?

The organization’s leadership comes in part from Jackson. A town in Breathitt County that was left in a financial disaster, to say the least.

Shouldn’t the state auditor be digging in like he did at BGADD?

Joshua Powell Continues His Spending Spree

Montgomery County Schools can’t afford textbooks and teachers are paying for the most basic supplies out of their own pockets.

But superintendent Joshua Powell can afford to supply Mapleton Elementary with a third staff refrigerator and a new staff microwave?

They had a pretty good setup before hand:




OLD

Here’s what Powell bought:





NEW

Now they have three staff refrigerators and three microwaves.

Still need more proof this actually happened? Here’s an email from the principal:


PRINCIPAL’S EMAIL

We haven’t seen someone spend so freely since Robert Felner.

Miniature Texan Gets Crazier By The Minute

A Veterans Affairs hospital botched the treatment of a suicidal Marine by sending him to another medical facility even though he had an emergency condition, a federal judge said. [H-L]

Rand Paul’s budget would have cut funding for agencies leading the ebola response. [HuffPo]

Long story short: Mitch McConnell is full of whatever Joshua Powell is full of when it comes to climate change. [C-J/AKN]

It might be hard to fathom in today’s partisan times, but some political technology firms don’t care if their clients are Democrats or Republicans. [Politico]

Don’t miss Comment on Kentucky tonight at 8:00 P.M. Eastern on KET. Scheduled guests: Adam Beam, Miranda Combs, Sam Youngman. [KET]

Islamic State fighters pressed closer toward besieged cities in Syria and Iraq on Thursday as defenders on both fronts prepared for possible street-by-street battles and appealed for intensified U.S.-led airstrikes, reports and witnesses said. [WaPo]

Kentucky is one of seven states selected to share $5 million in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grant funds to identify, track and prevent the misuse of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits by program recipients. Kentucky will receive more than $1.1 million in federal grant dollars, which will be used to help combat SNAP trafficking, primarily the exchange of benefits for cash or other goods or services. [Press Release]

We told ya ages ago that those SUVs being used by Alison Grimes — potentially illegally — were owned by her daddy. [Roll Call]

A new hire at the University of Louisville will take on the combined roles of chief financial officer and chief operations officer. [WFPL]

A recent meeting between union members and representatives of Kentucky Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes’s Senate campaign turned sour just weeks before the election, with labor activists complaining they have been ignored and mistreated by the Grimes campaign. [NRO]

It felt a bit like the late 1960s rather than 2014, but Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Grimes got a boost from a social justice group Thursday as she tries to turn her campaign message to economic issues. [Ronnie Ellis]

Head of flawed effort to identify missing soldiers loses his job. The departure of veteran lab director Tom Holland appears to be the first leadership change in the Pentagon’s overhaul of its identification process. [ProPublica]

Really, Herald-Leader? No mention of 23% of a district’s score being self-assessed? [H-L]

2015 is still a few months away, but the folks at the New York Times are probably wishing that they could throw 2014 in the dumpster now, given how challenging this year has often been. [HuffPo]