Bevin Administration Launches Investigation of Beshear Administration
Governor Matt Bevin announced a special investigation into the administration of his predecessor, Governor Steve Beshear.
At a Tuesday news conference, the Republican Bevin cited what he called serious concern dealing with potentially illegal and unethical contracting processes during the Democrat Beshear's eight years in office.
Bevin has asked the Secretary of the Finance and Administration Cabinet Col. Bill Landrum, using the extensive investigative powers given to him in KRS Chapter 45, to prepare and issue a request for proposals (RFP) for a thorough, in-depth investigation and report by an attorney or law firm with experience in investigating activities and contracts.
Once selected, this firm will work closely with Secretary Landrum and his staff, including the Cabinet’s new Inspector General, whose appointment will be announced in the coming days, to make findings and issue a report, Bevin said.
Under KRS Chapter 45, such investigation will include the ability to subpoena witnesses and records as may be necessary to accomplish the investigative goals.
“A thorough, independent investigation like this can expose and cast light upon prior unsavory — and perhaps illegal — practices, but can also provide the public a degree of confidence in a fair and transparent governance that was so glaringly absent in the past administration,” said Bevin.
Beshear issued a statement, as reported by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting. "At some point Matt Bevin has to realize there is a time to campaign and a time to govern," Beshear said. "Attacking me in an effort to distract the public from his Benefind debacle and his plan to strip away health care from hundreds of thousands of Kentuckians will not work. Today's accusations, which have absolutely no basis in truth, continue this pathetic spectacle. There was never any attempt to pressure employees to make political contributions, and we followed both the spirt and the letter of procurement laws. Furthermore, I made my tax returns public all eight years I was governor, something Gov. Bevin refuses to do even after promising to do so. Kentuckians deserve better."
Attorney General Andy Beshear also issued a statement. "As the head of an office that is statutorily charged with investigating allegations of corruption, I agree that issues such as no-bid contracts should be carefully scrutinized, including the two no-bid contracts totaling $4 million awarded by the Bevin administration in its first three months," the attorney general said. "The appropriate agency, however, for investigating the governor’s allegations is the Kentucky Executive Branch Ethics Commission, an independent agency, and not a cabinet that answers to the governor. The governor is once again overstating his authority under state law (KRS chapter 45). Spending taxpayer money on an outside contract when such allegations should be sent to the commission is wasteful.
"Over the last three weeks, I have stood before the public and answered any and every question regarding Mr. Longmeyer. United States Attorney Kerry Harvey has definitively stated to the public and the press that there was no involvement by me or my office. The sworn affidavit in that case also found there was no knowledge by any campaign related to any contributions. My campaign is awaiting a routine audit by the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance, and will then donate any remaining funds to Common Cause, a government watchdog organization.”
Watch Bevin's announcement: