State watchdog has never requested contract reviews

March 25, 2013 

FRANKFORT — Ky. Rep. Dennis Horlander is supposed to act as a watchdog over state government contracts, but a records review by The Courier-Journal found that he has never asked for a review of a single contract.

Despite that, the Louisville Democrat has been paid extra for his role as co-chair of the General Assembly's Government Contract Review Committee over the past four years.

The newspaper reported this month that Horlander's salary of $46,302 was 30 percent higher than that of the next highest rank-and-file member.

In a written statement, Horlander said his main role with the committee is to oversee staff, help committee members get information and encourage new members to request contract reviews.

"If anyone knows of any contracts that should be pulled but haven't, I would be more than happy to have our committee review it," his statement reads.

Horlander's co-chairman on the committee, Sen. Vernie McGaha, pulled some 600 contracts for review over the same four-year period.

The Russell Springs Republican declined to comment on Horlander's work.

"Speaking for myself, I looked over the lists of contracts, and if I saw what looked like an inconsistency or suspected monies were being used in a questionable way, I felt it was my responsibility to review it to get an explanation, at least," McGaha said.

Horlander worked 140 days while the General Assembly was not in session last year; records show that at least 72 of them were for conferences that required authorization from House Speaker Greg Stumbo.

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