The Chatter: Comer has ‘great deal of confidence’ Heiner campaign offering accusers money; college ex challenges Comer to lie detector

05/07/2015 05:34 PM

Republican gubernatorial candidate James Comer accused fellow GOP hopeful Hal Heiner’s campaign and a group supporting him of offering money to those involved in allegations against him Wednesday, according to a report by The Cincinnati Enquirer.

Comer told the newspaper’s editorial board he could not offer proof. He said he’s awaiting the results of an investigation into alleged harassing communications against his running mate, state Sen. Chris McDaniel, by Lexington attorney Michael Adams, who runs an anti-Comer Tumbler website.

“Do I think that Hal Heiner himself knew about it or did it? I want to hope not,” Comer said in the editorial board meeting, according to the report.

“But you have to be able to control your campaign and control and weed out corruption. If you can’t do it in your campaign, how can you do it once you get to Frankfort?”

Comer faces accusations of physical and mental abuse by a college girlfriend, Marilyn Thomas, who disclosed those charges in a four-page letter to The Courier-Journal that also alleged Comer drove her to a Louisville abortion clinic in November 1991.

Comer has unequivocally denied those allegations, charging that his political opponents have drummed up the accusations after The Lexington Herald-Leader reported on on communication between Adams and Scott Crosbie, husband of Heiner’s running mate.

Thomas, in response to Comer’s charge of Heiner’s campaign offering money to those involved in the allegations against him, denied that anyone with the Heiner campaign offered her money and told The Courier-Journal to “ask Jamie if he would consent to sitting in a room with me and taking a polygraph.”

Comer’s campaign did not respond to Thomas’ challenge directly, telling the newspaper they would cooperate with the northern Kentucky grand jury investigation.

Heiner’s campaign denied offering money to anyone during the race and an official with Citizens for a Sound Government denied involvement in the Thomas allegations, according to the newspapers.

Doug Alexander, spokesman for Heiner, told The Courier-Journal that Comer “is desperate to save his failing campaign and willing to say anything to distract voters” and his charges against Heiner “are completely false and backed up only by the delusions of his own mind.”

Alan Philp, chairman of CSG, called Comer’s accusation that the group offered Thomas money “the most outrageous, over-the-top whopper of an allegation that we have ever heard a politician put forward” in an email to The Cincinnati Enquirer.

Comer, Heiner, Louisville investment manager Matt Bevin and former Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Will T. Scott are vying for the Republican gubernatorial nomination in the May 19 primary.

GOP attorney commits suicide

Prominent Republican attorney Warren Scoville of London died Thursday from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to reports.

Laurel County Sheriff John Root called 911 at 10:21 a.m. Thursday after Scoville told him of plans to commit suicide, The Corbin News Journal reports.

Authorities found Scoville behind an old lumber yard with a self-inflicted gunshot to the head, and he was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at the hospital, according to the newspaper.

Scoville, an officer and U.S. Navy aviator from 1962 to 1967, was known for taking on high-profile cases, such as defending former state Rep. Steve Nunn against a murder charge for the shooting death of his one-time fiancée, Amanda Ross. After pleading guilty and being sentenced to life in prison in 2011, Nunn has since filed an appeal, arguing that Scoville did not fully explain the ramifications of his guilty plea.

Scoville had a hand in Kentucky Republican politics for decades, serving on the Republican Party of Kentucky’s executive committee for more than 20 years and as finance chairman for RPK as well as serving as a delegate in three Republican National Conventions, according to his law firm’s website.

Kevin Wheatley

Kevin Wheatley is a reporter for Pure Politics. He joined cn|2 in September 2014 after five years at The State Journal in Frankfort, where he covered Kentucky government and politics. You can reach him at or 502-792-1135 and follow him on Twitter at @KWheatley_cn2.


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