Grimes speaks following allegations of misconduct and harassment

08/29/2018 09:32 PM

FRANKFORT, KY (SPECTRUM NEWS) — After an hours long closed meeting Tuesday, the Kentucky Board of Elections announced how they would move on after a senior staffer made seriously allegations of harassment and misuse of power by Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.

Monday, the Executive Director of the State Board of Elections, Jared Dearing, sent a letter to board members, making several complaints about Grimes.
In the letter, Dearing wrote Grimes was weakening the system of checks and balances.
He sad Grimes accessed the voter registration database to check backgrounds of potential hires and for other reasons.
Grimes admits doing that- but says that’s part of her job.
“It is what is required and set forth in statute to certify voter registration turnout. Statistics that I know members of the media here often ask of me and my staff. We have to have access to the tools to be able to do that.- There has never been any directive from myself, my staff, from any of our attorneys to not follow the law, explained Grimes.
Dearing also claims Grimes harassed him at work- even calling his family at home to complain about him.
A move Grimes denies.“It is absurd, it is without any basis. I have never threatened any family member, his family or his job,” Grimes said.
Grimes also denied allegations that she told Dearing to stop working to comply with an order from the Department of Justice to clean out the voter rolls.
As to why Dearing made the complaint, Grimes thinks he may have been trying to make himself look better. She said, “The performance of our executive director has been under review. We did go into closed session as members of the public are aware last week on Tuesday, and our board attorney followed up with request that we had specifically for our executive director to affirm in writing had been completed.”
The day after Dearing sent his nine page letter, Grimes called a special meeting for board members. Once the group finalized details, they went into an executive session that went on for about 3 hours. In the meeting, they voted unanimously to reaffirm the role of the Secretary of State.
When they came out of the meeting Grimes simply read their resolution aloud. In part, it said, “There is a resolution before the members as presented by council which sets forth the responsibilities of the chair, the chief election official held responsible in the court of public opinion as well as the court of law regarding the conduct of our elections and the oversight of the staff and as well as all election matters here in the Commonwealth.”
Dearing stayed quiet during the reading and refused to comment following the meeting.



Other board members spoke, but kept details of what happened in the meeting to themselves.
“I can’t reference discussions that were held in closed session. The resolution just references state and federal law on what the role of the Secretary of State is, said Republican board member DeAnna Brangers.
Grimes says she believes she will be able to work with Dearing despite the allegations. She explained, “My intention going in to today was never to terminate what I see as en employee who has literally just lost sight of what the work of the state board of elections is about, and has a basic fundamental misunderstanding of the role of the chair of the roll of myself as chief election official and that was clarified today by the state board of elections unanimously.”
She said she will also move on from the personal attacks, joking “Have you been in Frankfort longer than a minute? It’s kind of like a day to day thing.” Grimes then explained, “ You’ve got to learn to reach across and work with people.”
This is the second complaint made against Grimes in the past 12 months.
“Accusations have come my way as I have spoken out in order to increase the security of Kentucky’s election administrations,” Grimes said.
In the first complaint- two people, a Republican and a Democrat were both let go.
Dearing was spared that fate.

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