The Chatter: Ethics Commission charges former officals; Mongiardo interested in 2015 and more

12/03/2012 05:09 PM

A former official in Governor Steve Beshear’s administration has been charged with ethics violations.

The Courier-Journal was first to report today that the Executive Branch Ethics Commission charged Beshear’s former Deputy Justice Cabinet Secretary Charles Geveden Sr. with three violations.

The violations stem from the governor’s 2011 re-election campaign. Cabinet employees accused accused Geveden of calling them to urge them to donate to the campaign.

The law forbids officials from soliciting campaign donations even from appointed non-merit employees.

Two former state employees also charged with ethics violations
The Executive Branch Ethics Commission will also change two former state employees with a $10,000 fine for using their government jobs to pad their own pockets.

The Lexington Herald-Leader first reported that Dennis Sharon, a former Department of Fish and Wildlife conservation officer, and Michael Fitzgerald, a former Department of Agriculture employee, will both pay the fines using their jobs to boost their private businesses. Sharon allegedly diverted state resources to help his commercial caviar business, while Fitzgerald allegedly was moonlighting as a private investigator for an out-of-state organic food producer.

Those $10,000 fines represent the highest fine ever paid by those who have violated the state’s ethics rules, John Steffen, the executive director of the Executive Branch Ethics Commission, told the Herald-Leader.

Former Lt. Governor Mongiardo considering 2015 run
Former Democratic Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo is the latest in the long list of Democrats considering running in the 2015 governors race.

Mongiardo told Lexington Herald-Leader over the weekend in a phone interview that he was considering the race and discussed possible running mates such as Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.

Mongiardo was Lt. Governor under Governor Steve Beshear from 2007-2011 but chose to run for U.S. Senate in 2010 instead of joining up with Beshear again for the 2011 re-election.

Congressman Rogers hires new field representative
Congressman Hal Rogers announced today that he has hired Shannon Rickett as his new Field Representative for the 5th Congressional district.

From Rogers’ statement:

“Shannon was born and raised in Corbin and knows first-hand, many of the issues and concerns of the people of southern and eastern Kentucky. She is already well-known in the region, because of her volunteer efforts and her position with the National Institute for Hometown Security. Shannon’s expertise and knowledge of government operations will be a great benefit for the counties she now serves.”

Rickett will work out of Rogers’ Somerset district office.

Jacqueline Pitts

Jacqueline Pitts is the producer of Pure Politics, the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. In addition to booking guests and pulling all of the information from the field together into a half-hour show, Jacqueline is also a regular contributor to “The Grind.” That’s a weekly segment with the cn|2 political staff to take a closer look at some of the most important, most interesting and often least talked about happenings in Kentucky politics. Jacqueline is from Nashville, but she’s a proud Western Kentucky University graduate. Follow Jacqueline on Twitter @Jacqueline_cn2. She can be reached at 502-792-1114 or jacqueline.pitts@twcnews.com.

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