Kevin Wheatley

Kevin Wheatley is a Video Journalist for Spectrum News and covers Kentucky politics and all the goings-on at the State Capitol. Kevin was born and raised in Frankfort so he grew up around politics and has always had the drive to follow the political process and hold lawmakers accountable. Before joining Spectrum News Kevin covered government and politics for The State Journal in Frankfort. You can watch Kevin’s work weeknights at 7:00 and 11:30 on Pure Politics, available exclusively on Spectrum News, HD Channels 403 and 715. You can reach him at or 502-792-1135.

The Chatter: Ex Social Security judge pleads guilty to bribes from former disability attorney Eric Conn

05/13/2017 04:30 PM

A former Social Security Administration judge has pleaded guilty to accepting more than $600,000 in bribes from former disability lawyer Eric Conn as he approved benefits for thousands of the disgraced attorney’s clients, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported Friday. David Black Daugherty pleaded guilty to two felony counts of accepting illegal gratuities, charges that could land the former judge behind bars for up to four years, and agreed to pay $609,000 in restitution, according to the report. Daugherty’s plea comes about... Read more 

Evander Holyfield's new company will promote inaugural boxing card at Freedom Hall next month

05/12/2017 06:00 PM

LOUISVILLE — Championship boxing is coming back to Louisville thanks to former four-time heavyweight champ Evander Holyfield’s new venture, and officials said Friday that they hope boxing will become a staple once again in Kentucky’s largest city. Holyfield and others announced a still unfinalized card set for June 24 at Freedom Hall, which will be headlined by an undisclosed title fight. The event will be part of the “I Am Ali” Festival, and Holyfield said his admiration for Muhammad Ali prompted... Read more 

Transportation Cabinet will present prioritized, less cluttered road plan under new SHIFT proposal

05/11/2017 05:34 PM

FRANKFORT — With next year’s budget session on the horizon, Transportation Cabinet Secretary Greg Thomas says his agency will take a new approach in presenting its proposed road plan. Thomas told the Program Review and Investigations Committee Thursday that he hopes the proposed funding strategy, called the Strategic Highway Investment Formula for Tomorrow, will create a leaner two-year construction plan and reduce over-programming. SHIFT will prioritize road projects based on a number of factors like safety, congestion and economic development. Thomas said... Read more 

LGBT advocates protest Barren County judge who recused self from adoption cases involving homosexuals

05/10/2017 05:34 PM

GLASGOW – Dozens of LGBT advocates assembled outside the Barren County Courthouse to protest Family Court Judge Mitchell Nance, who issued a blanket order last month recusing himself from all adoption cases involving homosexuals. Nance, who oversees cases in Barren and Metcalfe counties, signed an order April 27 that recused himself from such adoption cases, citing his belief that children would not benefit from adoption by a homosexual person or same-sex couple. “People are understandably outraged, to use his words, to say... Read more 

Lawmakers want to hear from University of Louisville officials after approving numerous contract increases

05/09/2017 04:04 PM

FRANKFORT – The University of Louisville’s forensic audit of its fundraising arm has drained much of its external legal budget, prompting the Government Contract Review Committee to approve the university’s request for an additional $500,000 in legal contracts Tuesday. That move pushed the total amount of contracted legal work to $1.25 million through June 30, 2018, and it prompted members of the review panel to bemoan recent requests by U of L for more money as it wrangles with the forensic... Read more 

Freshman lawmaker taking in the sights of Derby, picks Patch to win Run for the Roses

05/06/2017 03:30 PM

The sun had just broken through overcast skies as freshman Rep. Matt Castlen took in his first Kentucky Derby since joining the General Assembly. “This is just a proud moment to be a Kentuckian here because you look at all the people from all over the world coming to an event here in Louisville,” Castlen said. “It’s pretty neat.” The Maceo Republican said Patch, the one-eyed horse, is his pick to win it all. “That horse got a lot of attention, and losing... Read more 

Rep. Koenig bets on McCracken to win Kentucky Derby, hopes for ample time to consider changes to tax code

05/06/2017 03:12 PM

At his 10th Kentucky Derby, Rep. Adam Koenig says he hopes to see McCracken finish first in the 143rd Run for the Roses. “It’s always fun,” said Koenig, R-Erlanger. “It’s a great event.” He’s also hoping to see lawmakers tackle tax reform later this year, as Gov. Matt Bevin has said he will call the General Assembly back to Frankfort for a special session this fall. Koenig says he wants a more business-friendly tax code, which could mean more in sales taxes. But... Read more 

Way-too-early look at 2019: Four emerging as most likely Democratic gubernatorial candidates

05/06/2017 07:35 AM

As the entrants in this year’s Kentucky Derby prepare to take their places at the starting gate, another race two years away is slowly taking shape behind the scenes. A number of Democrats are exploring their political options ahead of the 2019 gubernatorial election, and consultants and operatives say they expect a wide-open field for the Democratic primary four years after former Attorney General Jack Conway boxed top-tier opposition out of that year’s May contest. It would be the first heavily contested... Read more 

Cuban ambassador optimistic of U.S.-Cuban relations in first trip to Louisville in more than 50 years

05/04/2017 07:46 PM

Cuban Ambassador to the United States José Cabañas expressed his hope that the developing relationship between the U.S. and Cuba will continue under President Donald Trump’s administration during an historic visit to Louisville Thursday. Cabañas, the first Cuban ambassador to the U.S. in more than 50 years, made his first appearance in Louisville since taking the post in 2015, months after former President Barack Obama took steps to renew diplomatic relations with the communist Caribbean country. Although a trade embargo remains in... Read more 

Advocates hope to raise human trafficking awareness ahead of Kentucky Derby

05/02/2017 05:37 PM

As an advocate for victims of human trafficking, Cindy McCain says she hopes to see the day when her work isn’t needed. “I’d like to put myself out of work,” McCain, wife of Arizona Sen. John McCain, told reporters Tuesday before the second annual “Hats Off” luncheon benefitting the Kristy Love Foundation. “… I’d like to be able to hopefully curb and stop the epidemic of human trafficking.” McCain, who serves on the McCain Institute’s Human Trafficking Advisory Council and the Arizona... Read more