Former Rep. Ben Waide pleads guilty to campaign finance violations

04/10/2015 06:37 PM

Former Republican state Rep. Ben Waide pleaded guilty on Friday for attempting to accept illegal campaign contributions and attempted unlawful campaign expenditures in Franklin Circuit Court.

Waide, of Madisonville, received a 12-month jail sentence, though he won’t see the inside of a correctional facility thanks to a probated sentence with two years of supervision, the Attorney General’s Office said in a news release.

As part of his sentence Waide has agreed to pay restitution to Liberty Rehabilitation, Waide’s former employer, and others for $7,754.12. After being indicted, the Attorney General’s Office said Waide will have reimbursed Liberty Rehabilitation a total of $15,320.36.

In a press release, John C. Whitfield, counsel for Liberty Rehabilitation, said “our position all along has been that Mr. Waide needs to accept responsibility for his actions and make amends. That process formally began today in Franklin Circuit Court. We appreciate the hard work and dedication of the Office of the Attorney General

The Madisonville Messenger and Page One Kentucky were the first to report the apparent plea deal with Waide on Friday.

“I appreciate the hard work of my Department of Criminal Investigations and my Office of Special Prosecutions for holding public officials accountable for violating campaign finance laws,” Attorney General Jack Conway said in a statement. “These laws are in place to protect the voters in Kentucky from illegal and mismanaged elections and to ensure that there is accounting transparency in the record keeping of campaign finances and contributions.”

Waide was indicted on two counts of knowingly accepting contributions from a corporation and causing funds in his campaign account to be expended for purposes that were not allowable campaign expenditures, both class D felonies, in July of 2014. The charges were amended down to class A misdemeanors.

Waide served in the state House from 2010 to 2014.


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