State ethics commission alleges Alison Lundergan Grimes violated ethics code

Election 2019 Kentucky Governor
Posted at 10:14 PM, Nov 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-19 11:59:23-05

(LEX 18) — Kentucky's ethics commission has alleged that Alison Lundergan Grimes improperly used her office for personal and political purposes when she served as Secretary of State.

The Executive Branch Ethics Commission sent Grimes and her former assistant secretary of state Erica Galyon “initiating orders,” which officially allege that both of them violated the state ethics code, on Thursday.

According to a document obtained by LEX 18, Grimes has two counts of violating the ethics code. The first claim states she directed subordinates to download information through the state's Voter Registration System without going through proper channels for a "personal private purpose."

The second claim says Grimes, prior to the 2016 election, improperly used her position to benefit Democratic candidates.

The commission also alleged that Galyon, who served as assistant secretary of state under Grimes, improperly withheld records from the news media in 2018-2019. Galyon had previously given the same records to Grimes’ personal legal counsel and altered the records that she later gave the media, according to the order.

Grimes and Galyon have 20 days to respond once served with the documents. After 20 days, the matter goes to an administrative hearing officer who will hear the merits of the case and issue a decision.

The two could be fined as much as $5,000 and public reprimand. They also have the right to subpoena witnesses on their own behalf and appeal any final commission order in Franklin Circuit Court.