Beshear says he's written FBI and SEC about concerns with Gov. Bevin's home purchase

08/04/2017 09:10 PM

GILBERTSVILLE — Attorney General Andy Beshear has contacted federal authorities with concerns about Gov. Matt Bevin’s $1.6 million purchase of a Jefferson County home from political donor and state contractor Neil Ramsey.

Beshear told reporters on Friday outside of a pre-Fancy Farm Democratic dinner that his office has contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission about the sale of the home to Bevin.

Earlier on Friday, a report from the Lexington Herald Leader and other news outlets indicated that the the Jefferson County Board of Assessment Appeals ruled Bevin did not get a sweetheart deal on a mansion in Anchorage.

The board decided Bevin’s home, which sits on 10 acres, is worth $1.39 million, nearly $200,000 less than what the governor paid for the property in March. An earlier assessment of the House and land was valued at about $2.5 million by the Jefferson County PVA.

Beshear told reporters on Friday that the his concerns with the purchase of the home from Ramsey “have always been bigger than the actual value.”

“The facts that concern me and ought to concern all Kentuckians that we need more information on are the fact that this governor moved into a home, a mansion, while it was still owned by a state contractor, that then the state spent almost $30,000 making improvements to a home then owned by a state contractor,” Beshear said. “The governor then personally negotiated the purchase, regardless of the price, with a state contractor.

“If that’s not concerning enough, what happened when they were caught? The seller initially lied about it claiming that he didn’t know who he sold the house to, and the governor wouldn’t talk about it.”

After the assessment ruling Friday, the Republican Party of Kentucky sought to turn the microscope back on Beshear.

“With this matter at an end, perhaps Attorney General Andy Beshear will now have time to offer a full accounting of his prior legal work and recuse himself from any apparent conflicts of interest such as the University of Louisville investigation,” Republican Party of Kentucky Communications Director Tres Watson said in a statement Friday afternoon.

The Executive Branch Ethics Commission previously dismissed two complaints claiming Bevin violated state ethics laws by purchasing the home from Ramsey, a state contractor who Bevin has also placed on the Kentucky Retirement Systems board.

Beshear told Pure Politics that the opinion was “shameful.” The ethics commission has also ruled Beshear would need to step back from any investigation into Bevin if he decides to run against him in 2019.

The Democratic attorney general will speak at the Fancy Farm Picnic on Saturday, an event known for jabs and red meat to the hyper partisan crowd. Bevin attended the SOAR summit on Friday in Pikeville and will not be attending the event.


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