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Beshear Looking Into Possible Investigation Of Bevin House Deal

Ryland Barton

Attorney General Andy Beshear says he’s exploring whether his office has the authority to investigate if Gov. Matt Bevin improperly bought a house from a political appointee and got a discount.

Beshear said he’s asked the Executive Branch Ethics Commission to weigh in on whether his office should investigate.

“I have real serious concerns about what’s going on in the Bevin administration and whether we’re seeing one of the worst cases of unjust enrichment or personal enrichment by a governor that I can imagine,” Beshear said on Tuesday to Terry Meiners on WHAS.

The Courier-Journal reported earlier this year that the Bevin family moved into a mansion in suburban Louisville owned by Anchorage Place LLC. The house was previously owned by Neil Ramsey, who donated to Bevin’s campaign and who Bevin appointed to the Kentucky Retirement Systems board of trustees.

The Courier-Journal also reported that Ramsey sold the house to the organization for $1.6 million — a price lower than the $2.1 million assessed by the Jefferson County Property Valuation Administrator — and that the state had made security improvements to the house months before it was sold to Anchorage Place LLC.

Over the last month, Bevin has dismissed questions about the sale from several news outlets.

The governor’s office did not respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.

Beshear and Bevin have been locked in legal and political disputes since they took office more than a year ago.

On Wednesday, Beshear said the governor has an obligation “to be straight with the citizens of the commonwealth.

“This is one where the governor could clear it all up just by being direct, just by coming out and talking about this and not laughing it off,” Beshear said.

Beshear also raised concerns about the governor providing high-paying state jobs to close friends in recent weeks.

This week, Bevin appointed Shelbyville businessman Vivek Sarin, a close friend, to an economic development post that pays $250,000.

Earlier this month, Bevin appointed Daniel Dumas, a vice president with Louisville Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, to a $240,000 position overseeing adoption issues in the state.

The Bevins provided an endowment at the seminary creating a center that funds mission trips.

Ryland Barton is the Managing Editor for Collaboratives for Kentucky Public Radio, a group of public radio stations including WKMS, WFPL in Louisville, WEKU in Richmond and WKYU in Bowling Green. A native of Lexington, Ryland most recently served as the Capitol Reporter for Kentucky Public Radio. He has covered politics and state government for NPR member stations KWBU in Waco and KUT in Austin.
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