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