Campaign season ethics complaint against Rep. McKenzie Cantrell dismissed

03/02/2017 03:14 PM

An ethics complaint filed against Rep. McKenzie Cantrell, D-Louisville, during one of the most hotly contested House district races during the 2016 campaign has been dismissed by the Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission.

The Republican Party of Kentucky filed the complaint against the Democratic candidate weeks before the election, accusing Cantrell of soliciting fundraising dollars at caucus fundraisers for House Democrats during her time as a registered lobbyist.

According to the order dismissing the case, the ethics commission found that the Republican Party of Kentucky “offered no evidence to support the allegation that ethical misconduct occurred.”

Cantrell acknowledged that she did attend a single caucus event as a candidate while she was a registered lobbyist, but denied soliciting or lobbying any funds for the caucus, according to the order dismissing the complaint.

The commission found that in the face of Cantrell’s denial, “and an absence of any evidence to support the allegations in the Complaint, Complainant’s mere conjecture that attendance at a political party’s caucus campaign event can only be for the purpose of raising money for the caucus does not provide sufficient grounds for the Ethics Commission to proceed further with this Complaint.”

State law prohibits lobbyists from donating to or fundraising for legislative campaigns but not from attending fundraisers. Cantrell had been paid as a lobbyist for the Kentucky Equal Justice Center, through Aug. 31, KLEC records show.

Download the full letter dismissing the complaint here: cantrellorder.pdf

Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics available exclusively on Spectrum News. Pure Politics is the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like his coverage of the backlog of DNA rape kits waiting to be tested in Kentucky. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Pure Politics airs weeknight at 7 and 11:30 on Spectrum News or anytime with Spectrum On Demand.Follow Nick on Twitter @NStorm_Politics. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or nicholas.storm@charter.com.

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