Alison Lundergan Grimes accused of ethics violations while serving as Secretary of State
The Executive Branch Ethics Commission alleges she used her office for personal and political purposes
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Alison Lundergan Grimes is accused of improperly using her office for personal and political purposes while serving as Secretary of State, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.
The report says the Executive Branch Ethics Commission sent Grimes and her former assistant secretary of state, Erica Galyon, “initiating orders,” which officially allege the two violated the state ethics code.
Grimes is accused of directing subordinates to download information through the state’s Voter Registration System without going through the proper channels for a “personal, private purpose,” according to the newspaper.
The second allegation says Grimes, prior to the 2016 election, improperly used her position to benefit Democratic candidates, according to the report.
The newspaper says Grimes couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
The commission also alleges Galyon improperly withheld records from the news media in 2018-19, according to the report.
Citing the order, the report says Galyon had previously given the same records to Grimes’ personal legal counsel, and altered the records that she ultimately gave to the media.
Grimes and Galyon have 20-days to respond once served the documents. Then, the matter goes to an administrative hearing officer, a private attorney on contract with the commission, who will hear the merits of the case and render a decision, according to the report.
The two could be subject to as much as $5,000 in fines and a public reprimand, according to the newspaper report.
They can also subpoena witnesses on their own behalf and can appeal any final commission order in Franklin Circuit Court in Frankfort, according to the report.
Grimes was first elected Secretary of State in 2011 and re-elected in 2015. Term limits kept her from running for a third term. She left office in 2019.
In 2014, Grimes lost a run for U.S. Senate to Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell. Grimes’ father, former state lawmaker and former head of the Kentucky Democratic Party, Jerry Lundergan, is scheduled to report to federal prison at the end of this month after being convicted of funneling illegal campaign contributions to his daughter’s failed senate campaign in 2014 and trying to cover it up.