Gov. Steve Beshear's chief of staff can sell his share in a downtown Lexington condo to a top Frankfort lobbyist, who owns the remaining share, the Executive Branch Ethics Commission advised Friday.
Adam Edelen, the Beshear aide, is trying to dissolve his business partnerships with Bob Babbage, the lobbyist, after recent stories about their dealings appeared in the Herald-Leader. On Jan. 9, Edelen asked the ethics commission for advice.
Edelen and his wife own a $257,100 condo unit with Babbage and his wife at the Main & Rose building on Lexington's Main Street. Edelen's wife, who sells Apple computers to the Kentucky Department of Education, uses the unit as an office, as does Babbage.
Edelen has said that he cannot afford to buy out Babbage's interest in the condo. Selling the condo and dividing the proceeds is an unattractive option, because in the current weak economy, the building already has many units for sale. So Edelen is free to accept payment from Babbage for his half of the condo as long as it's based on a fair market value, does not carry a promise of favoritism, and the terms of the sale are reported publicly, the ethics commission said.
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Earlier this month, Edelen and Babbage dissolved a land-development company they owned with Ralph Coldiron, who at the time was a Beshear political appointee in the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security. Coldiron resigned from that job after questions arose about the legality of a controversial pay raise he received.