The chairman of Common Cause Kentucky is asking the state’s Executive Ethics Commission to investigate whether Gov. Matt Bevin’s purchase of a mansion in a wealthy Louisville suburb earlier this year violated Kentucky’s ethics laws.
Richard Beliles filed his complaint last week. It centers on Bevin’s $1.6 million purchase of “Anchorage Place,” an historic home on a 10-acre tract. The property was assessed at $3 million in April but its value for tax purposes was lowered this month to $2.57 million.
The governor has acknowledged creating a limited liability corporation to handle the purchase, a tactic that kept his name out of the transfer. The state has spent nearly $40,000 on security improvements to the property and Bevin and his family live there rather than in the Governor’s Mansion on the state capitol grounds in Frankfort.
Bevin has been tightlipped about the purchase. The prior owner, Neil Ramsey, has been a major contributor to Bevin and the state Republican Party, and the Louisville Courier-Journal newspaper reported earlier this month that shortly before selling the house he invested $300,000 in a company partially owned by the governor. The investment was made through a state government economic development program that provided Ramsey with a $120,000 tax break, the newspaper said.
Bevin also appointed Ramsey last year to serve as a director of the state employees’ retirement system.
"Somebody needs to do something to get them to answer some questions that they don't seem to want to answer…" Beliles told the Courier-Journal. "Actually, I hope the governor and others come forward and give good answers and I get embarrassed for filing this.”
Tags: Executive Ethics