Keith Hall

Keith Hall faces the Ethics Commission

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July 13, 2011
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State Rep. Keith Hall, Kentucky Democrats’ Jim Gooch-in-training, faced the Legislative Ethics Committee yesterday, as he appears to have used his job in order to steer contract money his way.

That is the good news.

In the last paragraph, John Cheves shares the bad news:

The Legislative Ethics Commission — which is appointed by the House speaker and Senate president — may issue public reprimands, levy fines up to $2,000 or recommend that a lawmaker be censured or expelled. However, it has dismissed nearly all complaints filed against lawmakers in the past decade.

That… is why we fail.

Giant rift emerging between Gov. Beshear and two Democratic legislators (UPDATE)

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April 2, 2011
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KY State Senator Ray Jones and State Representative Keith Hall are two of the most conservative, ethically shady Democrats in Frankfort. Keith Hall filling his own pockets and warning us about Pikeville’s “urban sprawl“, and Ray Jones palling around with Leonard Lawson and fighting the scourge of Mexicans. Jones is one of the reasons why the Democrats being outnumbered 22-15 in the State Senate is misleading, as he’s part of the group of 5+ Democrats that are just going to vote with the Republicans on most important legislation, anyway. And Hall’s going to be lucky to stay out of jail, honestly.

I have no idea whether Jones and Hall are so conservative that they are going to back David Williams over Steve Beshear this year, but the latest news I’ve just received raises a host of questions about their relationship with Steve Beshear.

Last week, the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission received an open records request regarding the travel expenses for the last eight years on Sen. Ray Jones and Rep. Keith Hall. The return address on the envelope is the address of Jared Smith, who is the Deputy Finance Director of the Beshear-Abramson Campaign. The actual name on the request was Aaron Ross, a friend of Smith’s.

Rut roh.

Ray Jones was incensed, instructing the Chief of Staff of the Senate Democrats to send out this information to the entire caucus this afternoon.

Now if staffers of the Beshear campaign are sending out open records requests on Jones and Hall (poorly disguised), this would seem to indicate that they know Jones and Hall are working to undermine them in some way. And that Beshear is fighting back against some very shady targets.

Now sit back and enjoy the fireworks.

Here’s the email that the Senate Democrats’ COS sent out today:

Ray wanted me to forward the following information to all of you.

On Monday, March 28, 2011, I recieved notice from Laura Hendrix, General Counsel for LRC, that an open records request was recieved by LRC regarding travel expenses for the last eight years on Sen. Ray Jones and Rep. Keith Hall. This is standard operating procedure for LRC, I recieve notice whenever LRC recieves an open records request regarding any Senate Democratic member or staff.

The letter was dated March 22, 2011. The name requesting the information and the return address was listed as Aaron Ross, XXXXXXXXXX, Lexington KY 405XX.

The return address on the envelope was XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX, Lexington KY 405XX with no name.

The apartment on the envelope is rented to Thomas Jared Smith.

Jared Smith lists his occupation as Deputy Finance Director to the Beshear-Abramson Campaign.

Aaron Ross and Jared Smith are Facebook friends and attended the same high school.

Memo to Sen. Jones: I before E, except after C.

UPDATE: Well well, I guess the $1,000 max out contribution that Ray Jones’ wife Laura gave to the David Williams campaign might have something to do with this.

Luallen audit targets Mountain Water District, Keith Hall

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January 27, 2011
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Crit Luallen laid the hammer down today with her audit’s findings on the funny business going on with Pike County’s Mountain Water District and its contracts. Full details here, here and here, but of particular note is that Keith Hall (one of the very worst Democrats Kentucky has to offer, which is saying something) appears to be in some big trouble:

The audit also found MWD circumvented procurement requirements, allowing it to pay more than $171,000 for electrical services to a company owned by a state lawmaker (Keith Hall) who assisted in obtaining coal severance funding for the district that was used to pay for the electrical work.

This finding is being forwarded to the Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission for further review.

Further:

The only approval by the MWD Board of this vendor would have been through the monthly approval by the Board of payments scheduled to be made by MWD. A review of the Board meeting minutes reflect no discussion by the Board concerning any of the monthly payments, including payments made to BMM for this service. This indicates the Board had no active role in monitoring and overseeing the more than $171,000 paid to a vendor for a service provided without a competitive bidding process and no contract agreement between the two parties.

Another concern is the involvement of the State Representative (Keith Hall) to obtain coal severance funding for a service his company provided through a non-competitive process. While it is the entire Kentucky General Assembly that must approve a state budget bill, local legislators select the projects for their legislative districts that are to be included in the budget bill. This would allow the State Representative to work with the other legislators with districts in Pike County to seek funding for the project. Once the Representative was chosen to provide this service without a required competitive bidding process and no contract, it presents a strong perception of a conflict of interest.

Jake argues that Hall should be stripped of his chairmanships in the House by party leadership, but considering that they consistently allow Jim Gooch to CHAIR the Natural Resources and Environment Committee despite his many embarrassments, I wouldn’t hold my breath on that one. That’s just how we good ole boys roll…

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