An investigation commissioned by Gov. Matt Bevin found that state workers under the previous governor’s administration were solicited to donate to Democratic political campaigns, a violation of state law.
The report, released Wednesday, says 16 employees across six different state cabinet offices alleged they were asked to make political contributions, in some instances with suggestions that they may not retain their jobs if they failed to donate.
The workers are not identified by name. The report says they were non-merit — or politically appointed — state employees.
Last summer, Bevin, a Republican, approved a contract of up to $500,000 for Indiana law firm Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP to probe the administration of Gov. Steve Beshear, his Democratic predecessor.
Bevin cited corruption of Tim Longmeyer, the former secretary of the Kentucky Personnel Cabinet and Democratic Party operative, who pleaded guilty last year to bribery and reported to federal prison last week.
A KyCIR investigation last year found that non-merit employees under Longmeyer routinely donated to Democrats.
Read the investigative report released Wednesday.
Beshear released a lengthy statement in response:
“What a joke, and what a waste of taxpayers’ money. Gov. Bevin hired the general counsel for the Kentucky Republican Party Central Committee, using a half million dollars lifted from taxpayers’ pockets, to try to tarnish my administration and my son, Attorney General Andy Beshear. But after almost a year – with access to 33,000 state workers, mind you – they came up with 16 secret and unnamed employees making vague allegations against six other employees, two of whom are dead and unable to defend themselves. And then the authors of this report cleverly thought that by sprinkling words like “systematic,” “pattern,” “pervasive” and “endemic” in the report they could hoodwink voters into thinking there was widespread corruption. Again, what a joke. We knew from the start this was a political hatchet job, and this report proves it. They all ought to be charged with theft of public money.”
For more, read “Bevin Report: Beshear Officials Pressured Workers For Political Contributions” at WFPL News.