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Beshear, Williams facing ethics complaints

Aug. 02, 2011 @ 06:21 AM

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky’s two major gubernatorial candidates were accused Monday of violating state ethics laws, each by the chairmen of opposing political parties.


Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear was accused by Republican Party Chairman Steve Robertson of pressuring state government employees for campaign contributions. Republican challenger David Williams was accused of not reporting gambling winnings on a financial disclosure form.


Those accusations were the basis of complaints filed with the Executive Branch Ethics Commission and the Legislative Branch Ethics Commission.


Psychologist Rodney Young, a government employee seeking whistle-blower status, claimed in a letter released publicly Monday that some state workers were threatened with termination unless they contributed to Beshear’s re-election campaign. Young, who works for the Department of Juvenile Justice in Louisville, made the accusation in letters to Robertson and Attorney General Jack Conway.


Hours later, Democratic Party Chairman Dan Logsdon filed the complaint against Williams, accusing him of not reporting his gambling winnings from 2002. As president of the state Senate, Williams is required to periodically file documents listing personal financial information, but Logsdon said gambling winnings he reported on personal income tax returns weren’t included of his financial disclosure form.


The discrepancy turned up when a judge unsealed records in an old divorce file that showed Williams, the state’s leading opponent of expanding gambling in Kentucky, had more than $5,000 in gambling income in 2002.