KDP files ethics complaint against David Williams for failing to disclose gambling winnings on 2003 report

08/01/2011 02:37 PM

The Kentucky Democratic Party has filed a complaint with the Legislative Ethics Commission, alleging Republican gubernatorial candidate David Williams intentionally left gambling winnings off his disclosure forms in 2003.

The complaint, filed today, alleges that Williams, the state Senate president since 2000, “intentionally misled the public” by failing to disclose $5,313 in gambling winnings in 2002 in his disclosure report to the commission the next year.

Failing to disclose the gambling income, which was 12 percent of Williams’ income that year, on the forms is a class A misdemeanor.

“We have known for some time that Senator Williams thinks the rules that apply to regular people don’t apply to him,” Dan Logsdon, chairman of the Kentucky Democratic Party, said in a statement. “These ethical guidelines are easy to follow and are in place for one important reason: so that Kentuckians can trust their government. I urge the Legislative Ethics Commission to take swift action on this complaint.”

Since the Lexington Herald-Leader first reported Williams’ gambling winnings from 1999-2002, as they were listed on divorce records, the KDP has hounded Williams to release all of his tax returns.

Williams has declined to do so, saying his legislative disclosure forms are enough information. But that hasn’t stopped the KDP from holding news conferences and sending out releases appealing to Williams to release the returns.

The KDP and Williams have been going back and forth on the tax returns issue because Williams has opposed expanded gambling in Kentucky, a main plank of Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear’s legislative agenda.

Williams has said he doesn’t oppose expanded gambling on moral grounds and therefore any past trips to casinos aren’t relevant. In a recent forum at the Kentucky Farm Bureau, Williams even taunted Beshear to try and pass a constitutional amendment to get expanded gambling in Kentucky, saying he believes there are votes in the state Senate to pass such a measure.

But the KDP said Williams’ gambling past proves his hypocrisy in opposing casinos in Kentucky.

“Senator Williams evidently loves to gamble, and that’s his right,” Logsdon said in a statement. “But in failing to disclose his extensive casino winnings year after year, Williams behavior raises still more questions about his honesty and integrity.”

Lourdes Baez-Schrader, a spokeswomen with Williams’ Senate office, told Pure Politics that Williams had not yet seen the complaint.

“President Williams hasn’t had the opportunity to review this politically-motivated complaint,” she said. “He looks forward to answering this inquiry.”

-Reporting by Kenny Colston


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