A second ethics complaint has been filed against Gov. Matt Bevin over the purchase of his Jefferson County home, this time from a Democratic lawmaker.
Rep. Darryl Owens, D-Louisville, filed the complaint with the Executive Branch Ethics Commission against Bevin and Neil Ramsey, a Bevin political donor who sold the house in Anchorage to the governor in March, saying Bevin “personally enriched himself by at least $1 million.”
Owens’ complaint is based on news reports and “online searches” and is similar to a complaint filed last week by Richard Beliles, the chairman of Common Cause of Kentucky.
Owens, an attorney and member of the state House since 2005, said Monday that he filed his complaint May 31 not to diminish Beliles’ “but I believe mine is more detailed with facts.”
“There may be an ethical violation and I want someone with legal authority to check it out,” Owens said.
Bevin communications director Amanda Stamper called the complaint frivolous and politically motivated and said it was riddled with mistakes.
“Complainants like these should be aware of the penalties of perjury and making false ethics violations claims,” Stamper said.
In March, The Courier-Journal of Louisville reported that Bevin’s family had moved into a house bought by Anchorage Place LLC. State business documents don’t say who owns Anchorage Place LLC, but the governor identified himself as the owner May 26.
The house and land were bought for $1.6 million, but the Jefferson County PVA has said the house alone is worth $2.1 million. The land was part of a 19-acre parcel the county PVA has said is worth $800,000.
Bevin is in the process of appealing the PVA’s assessment of the house. The City of Anchorage, which performs independent property assessments, valued the home and 19-acre parcel at $2.2 million. Ramsey is a city councilman in Anchorage.
In his complaint, Owens said Ramsey is associated with three businesses that have contracts with state government or are regulated by state government — eBridge; Conficare, which develops assisted living facilities; and Magnolia Springs, which owns four senior living facilities in Kentucky. Ramsey is a board member of eBridge and the president and CEO of Conficare. A 2016 article in the Herald-Leader said Ramsey founded Magnolia Springs.
Bevin also appointed Ramsey to the board of the Kentucky Retirement Systems.
Ramsey did not immediately respond Monday to a request for comment.
The Executive Branch Ethics Commission is expected to consider the complaints during its July 17 meeting. The commission also will issue an advisory opinion to Attorney General Andy Beshear, who has asked whether he can investigate the Bevin administration without creating a conflict of interest.