HERALD-LEADER FRANKFORT BUREAU
FRANKFORT – Franklin Circuit Court ordered National College Wednesday to pay a $1,000-a-day fine from July 1 to the present for failing to respond to a subpoena from Attorney General Jack Conway in his investigation of some for-profit colleges.
As of Wednesday, that amounts to $126,000 in fines.
In addition to the penalty, the court ordered National’s attorneys to pay $10,000 to the attorney general’s office after the court determined that National College has “repeatedly abused the legal system to obstruct a valid investigation by the attorney general.”
National College had no immediate comment.
Conway said he hopes National College “will stop the games, turn over all of the documents requested and pay.
“If National has nothing to hide, the time is now to comply with the court order.”
The attorney general issued a subpoena to National College in December 2010.
National refused to respond to the subpoena and filed suit to block the attorney general’s investigation.
In March 2011, the Franklin Circuit Court ruled in Conway’s favor, finding that the subpoena was reasonable and supported by valid concerns under the Consumer Protection Act and that Conway was lawfully acting in the public interest.
National College appealed that decision to both the Court of Appeals and the Kentucky Supreme Court, but the appeals were denied.
In a separate action in September, 2011, Conway filed suit against National College in Fayette Circuit Court, alleging that National violated the Kentucky Consumer Protection Act by posting false job placement rates for National graduates on its website.
That litigation is pending.
By Jack Brammer
FRANKFORT – Democrat Reginald Thomas leads his two opponents in campaign funds for next Tuesday’s special election in Lexington to succeed Kathy Stein in the state Senate.
Campaign finance reports filed this week with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance show Thomas, an attorney and Kentucky State University professor, has received $122,401 for the election so far and has $67,999 on hand.
Independent Richard Moloney, a former Lexington council member and city official, has raised $74,430 and has a balance of $31,777.
Campaign receipts for Republican Michael Johnson, a minister, totaled $6,233, with $5,342 on hand.
Joining host Ferrell Wellman on this weekend’s “Comment on Kentucky,” a public-affairs show of the Kentucky Educational Television network, will be three journalists.
They are Ronnie Ellis, Frankfort reporter and columnist for CNHI, Inc.; Mike Wynn, Frankfort bureau reporter for The Courier-Journal; and Jack Brammer, Frankfort bureau chief for the Lexington Herald-Leader.
The show will first air at 8 p.m. Friday on KET. It is to be taped Tuesday.
The Monday, Dec. 2, edition of “Kentucky Tonight” will be preempted by winter funding pledge.
Editorial writers will join host Ferrell Wellman on this weekend’s “Comment on Kentucky,” a public affairs show of the Kentucky Educational Television network.
They are Jamie Lucke, editorial page writer for the Lexington Herald-Leader; Mark Maynard, editor of The Independent in Ashland; and Don Wilkins, opinion page editor for the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer
The show will air live at 8 p.m. Friday on KET 1.
On the Monday, Nov. 25 edition of “Kentucky Tonight” at 8 p.m. on KET and at KET.org/live, host Bill Goodman and guests will discuss the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.
Scheduled guests are:
- Enid Trucios-Haynes, president of the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky
- Martin Cothran, senior policy analyst for The Family Foundation of Kentucky
- Chris Hartman, director of the Fairness Campaign
- Richard Nelson, executive director of the Commonwealth Policy Center
Viewers with questions and comments may send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or use the message form at KET.org/kytonight. Viewers may also submit questions and comments on Twitter to @BillKET or on KET’s Facebook page. All messages should include first and last name and town or county. The phone number for viewer calls during the program is 1-800-494-7605.
“Kentucky Tonight” programs are archived online, made available via podcast, and rebroadcast on KET and KET KY. Archived programs, information about podcasts, and broadcast schedules are available at KET.org/kytonight.
“Kentucky Tonight” is a weekly KET production, produced by Deidre Clark. Goodman is host and managing editor.
By Jack Brammer
FRANKFORT — House Speaker Pro Tem Larry Clark, D-Louisville, prefiled two bills Wednesday to expand gambling in Kentucky.
One of his measures calls for a constitutional amendment to let Kentucky voters decide in November 2014 whether they want casino gambling in the state. The other bill outlines a plan to license and regulate casino gambling at five horse racetracks and three stand-alone casinos.
Clark’s proposal comes on the heels of an effort by a pro-casino group named “Kentucky Wins!” to push for a constitutional amendment to allow casinos in Kentucky. The Kentucky School Boards Association announced Wednesday that it backs “Kentucky Wins!”
The Kentucky legislature has debated expanded gambling for more than 20 years. It appears the issue will be on the front-burner again in the 2014 Kentucky General Assembly that begins in January.
Clark, who has worked on casino legislation for 20 years, said his plan adopts the best parts from previous attempts.
The legislation could generate $286 million a year for the state, he said.
FRANKFORT, Ky. – The state Senate will use the newly drawn legislative district boundaries in informing constituents who represents them in Kentucky’s General Assembly.
At a recent meeting of legislative leaders, House Democratic leaders said they favored using the old district maps from which lawmakers were elected.
But Senate Republicans sided with the new maps drawn in a special session in August. They said the new maps became law when the bill, which had an emergency clause on it, was enacted.
Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, said Friday the Senate will direct legislative staffers to use the new maps “for all purposes with respect to the state Senate.”
House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, said without elaboration, “As for the new districts, everyone agrees that the new lines will be followed in the next election, and we look forward to answering inquiries from our new constituents.”
By Jack Brammer
FRANKFORT – Democrat Reginald Thomas holds a lead over his two opponents in raising funds for the Dec. 10 special election in Lexington to succeed Kathy Stein in the state Senate.
Thomas, an attorney and professor at Kentucky State University, reported in papers filed with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance that his campaign has raised $82,121.
Independent candidate Richard Moloney, a former Lexington council member and official, reported receipts of $52,355, while Republican Michael Johnson, a minister, took in $2,540.
That makes Thomas and Moloney competitive financially in the race, while Johnson has much catching up to do in fund raising.
Gov. Steve Beshear called the special election in the heavily Democratic 13th Senate District shortly after he appointed Democrat Stein to a Fayette Circuit Court judgeship Oct. 14. The district covers downtown Lexington and the University of Kentucky.
The winner will serve the remainder of Stein’s term, which runs through the end of 2016.
State lawmakers altered the boundaries of the 13th Senate District during a special legislative session in August, but it remains more than 2-to-1 Democratic.
All three candidates in the special election were Democrats earlier this year but Moloney and Johnson changed their party registration to run in the race.
By Jack Brammer and Sam Youngman
FRANKFORT — Saying there should be no doubt that he intends to win the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate next year, Louisville businessman Matt Bevin filed Friday to try to unseat Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell.
Bevin’s wife, Glenna, and Larry Forgy, a Lexington attorney who lost the 1995 GOP bid for governor and is an ardent opponent of McConnell, signed Bevin’s filing papers in the office of Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes in the Capitol.
Grimes is expected to be the Democratic nominee in next year’s U.S. Senate race, which political observers have estimated will cost $100 million in campaign spending.
Bevin, a well-heeled investment manager in Louisville, had announced in July that he would be a candidate. He has founded several firms and has invested in companies with interests ranging from manufacturing to software.
After making his candidacy official Friday, Bevin held a news conference in the Capitol Rotunda with his wife, their nine children — four adopted from Ethiopia — and Forgy.
By Jack Brammer
FRANKFORT –Revenue for the state’s General Fund, which pays for most state programs, dipped slightly in October while receipts for the Road Fund showed a bigger drop.
State budget director Jane Driskell said Tuesday that October’s General Fund receipts fell 0.4 percent compared to October 2012 collections.
Total revenues for the month were $772.5 million, compared to $725.5 million last October.
Receipts have increased 2.4 percent for the first four months of this fiscal year, which began July 1. They need to grow 1.6 percent over the final eight months of fiscal year 2014 to realize the official revenue estimate for the year of $9.52 billion.
Driskell said major revenue accounts continue to perform well, especially the sales and use tax. It increased at a 5.3 percent pace in October and has grown 3 percent through the first four months of this fiscal year.
“Despite the small decline in aggregate General Fund revenues in October, the major accounts performed well and revenues are slightly ahead of pace to meet the budgeted total,” Driskell said.
By Jack Brammer
FRANKFORT — State lawmakers approved a $115,000 contract Tuesday with a Lexington law firm to represent the Legislative Research Commission in lawsuits stemming from a sexual harassment scandal.
The legislature’s Government Contract Review Committee unanimously approved the contract for the law firm of Landurm and Shouse, but not before Sen. Chris McDaniel, R-Latonia, questioned its size and why legislative attorneys were not used.
The contract, which runs from Oct. 9 to June 30, is for LRC representation in two lawsuits filed by three female legislative staffers.
One lawsuit, filed Oct. 1 by Yolanda Costner and Cassaundra Cooper, named as defendants former state Democratic Rep. John Arnold of Sturgis, the state, the LRC and House Speaker Greg Stumbo in his official capacity.
The two women allege that state officials failed to protect them after they complained in February that Arnold inappropriately touched them and made lewd and vulgar comments to them numerous times over several years.