Attorney General Andy Beshear calls Gov. Bevin's purchase of Anc - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Attorney General Andy Beshear calls Gov. Bevin's purchase of Anchorage home 'public corruption'

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Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, May 26, 2017 Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, May 26, 2017

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear strongly criticized Gov. Matt Bevin’s purchase of a home in Anchorage on Tuesday, calling it “the worst case of personal enrichment I've ever seen.”

Beshear’s comments came in response to an opinion issued by the Executive Branch Ethics Commission on Monday. The commission said Beshear, a Democrat, cannot ethically investigate the Republican governor’s purchase of the home if Beshear plans to run for governor himself.

Beshear told reporters Tuesday he is going to review the opinion before deciding what his next move will be. For now, he is not tipping his hand about any plans for a future governor's race or a possible investigation into Bevin. But Beshear was blunt in his assessment of Bevin’s real estate deal.

“From the outside, the governor's purchase of this home looks like one of the worst cases of personal enrichment that I've ever seen," Beshear said. "It looks like the textbook definition of public corruption."

Bevin bought the home from a campaign donor for $1.6 million. That is less than the assessed value, though he is appealing that assessment.

“What's important to me is that the public ultimately gets the facts on the purchase of this home,” Beshear said.

Bevin's office said it had no comment on the ethics opinion or on Beshear's remarks. But in an interview with WDRB News in May, Bevin defended his purchase of the home and said it provides more security for his family.

“That was the whole point of it," he said. "People trying to turn that into some nefarious deed is craziness."

Bevin supporters are calling on Beshear to respect the commission's decision.

“Put an end to these political witch hunts that he's used his office for,” said Byron Fisher, Executive Director of the Jefferson County Republican Party.

The Ethics Commission voted 4-1 that Beshear must appoint a third party to investigate Bevin if he does plan to run for governor. The five-member commission includes three Bevin appointees.

“What we have seen is what I think is, or can be described as, a hijacking of state ethics,” Beshear said.

Beshear said he will take a week or so to study the opinion before deciding what to do next. The commission’s opinions are advisory, and not legally binding.

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Gov. Matt Bevin talks violence, JCPS and his new Anchorage home in exclusive interview

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