Questions raised as democratic group runs ads against P'Pool

10/18/2011 03:19 PM

A new outside campaign committee is running ads against Republican Attorney General candidate Todd P’Pool criticizing his work as a trial attorney, while P’Pool’s campaign is yelling foul.

The Bluegrass Committee for Justice and Fairness is running the ad on a small buy outside of the Louisville TV markets. The group is set up by Dana Bykowski Ju, part of a Washington D.C. firm called Hilltop Solutions. The firm sets up groups across the U.S., like the one in Kentucky, as vehicles for campaign donations.

The ad accuses P’Pool of cooking the books as Hopkins County Attorney and for unfair pricing while working as a trial attorney; something P’Pool’s campaign denies.

But the ad isn’t truthful in a number of ways, according to the P’Pool campaign. The first allegation is that P’Pool was twice cited for improper billing of time records while working on child support payment cases in his county.

That’s a story the Lexington Herald-Leader reported in late June, citing two warnings the Cabinet for Families and Children sent to P’Pool in 2008 and 2010 about time billed to the state for working on child support cases.

But the campaign maintains that the state added additional documents to the billing process which P’Pool was unaware of. Once made aware, P’Pool included the additional document in his regular billing process, his campaign said.

P’Pool has also received three consecutive awards for “Outstanding Performance” from the cabinet for his work on those child support cases, including in 2010, one of the years he was warned. And the P’Pool campaign says he has passed every audit of his office while serving as Hopkins County Attorney.

The ad also says P’Pool “ripped off” his own client by raising his fees in the middle of the case. That case involved a man named Sonny Poole, who sued Dollar General in a slander case that Poole won with P’Pool as his attorney. But Dollar General appealed and Poole agreed to hire a different attorney for the appeal. P’Pool’s campaign says he never charged a raised fee to Poole.

The practice of switching attorneys for an appeal is not uncommon, as Jake Payne of reported yesterday. Citing a WAVE 3 story , Payne reported that on a personal injury case Attorney General Jack Conway was hired for in Louisville, his clients switched attorneys when the case was appealed, hiring Jack Conway’s father, Tom.

And P’Pool’s campaign says that Poole admitted in a deposition that P’Pool “had done nothing wrong.”

The third allegation that a judge called P’Pool’s “rate hike” a “classic case of betrayal” involved a former judge hired by Poole’s appeal legal team to give testimony in the appeal, P’Pool’s campaign said.

In response to the false claims, the P’Pool campaign has sent a cease and desist letter to TV stations who were running the ad. So far, the P’Pool campaign said they are unaware if any TV station has pulled the ad.

-Reporting by Kenny Colston


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