A large and secluded house in Anchorage that recently sold for $1.6 million is being guarded by the executive security detail of Gov. Matt Bevin.
But the Governor’s Office and the parties involved in the recent sale to Anchorage Place LLC ignored or declined to respond to calls seeking details about the transaction, including who owns Anchorage Place LLC, and why the sales price of $1.6 million appears to be very low when compared to values placed on the property by the Jefferson County Property Valuation Administrator.
A Courier-Journal reporter who recently went to the Anchorage residence was met by state police Trooper Mark Treadway, a member of the executive security detail, who declined to say who lived in the house and said it was private property.
Treadway referred questions about who was living there to the head of Bevin’s security detail, Lt. Chris Crockett, who did not return phone messages.
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Amanda Stamper, communications director for the Governor’s Office, did not reply to an email asking specific questions about where the governor lives and the sale of this house. She also did not return numerous messages left on her phones and at her office over the past two weeks.
Likewise, Bevin Chief of Staff Blake Brickman ignored a reporter who asked him in the halls of the Capitol last week if he could provide any information about whether Bevin’s family had moved to the house and the recent transaction.
A call to Anchorage Mayor W. Thomas Hewitt was referred to Anchorage City Attorney John McGarvey, who said the mayor told him the city has received no official notification, “but it’s all over town that he (Bevin) has moved to Anchorage and that he’s moved into that property.”
The home being guarded by Bevin’s executive security detail was restored in 2013 by owners Neil and Anne Ramsey, who have given to Bevin’s political campaigns and the Republican Party.
Neil Ramsey, who is the president of an investment company and a member of the Anchorage City Council, was appointed by Bevin last summer to the Kentucky Retirement Systems Board of Directors.
Ramsey also did not return phone messages and emails seeking comment.
Jefferson County Clerk records show that on March 9, a company owned by Ramsey called The Anchorage LLC sold the house and a surrounding 10-acre tract for $1.6 million to a newly formed limited liability company called Anchorage Place LLC.
Neither the deed recording that transfer nor Kentucky Secretary of State records identify any owner, member or manager of Anchorage Place LLC. They list only the name of attorney Richard V. Hornung as an authorized agent and organizer. Hornung said he could not comment because the parties he represents choose to remain anonymous.
Jefferson County Clerk records show Ramsey initially bought the house and 10-acre tract as part of a larger parcel of about 19 acres in 2004 for $1,537,500.
In late 2013, after restoring the house, Ramsey and his wife sold it to Ramsey’s The Anchorage LLC for $3 million, Jefferson County Clerk deed records show.
Current PVA records place a value of $3 million on that larger 19-acre parcel – $2,683,000 for the house and other improvements, and $317,000 for the land.
The recent $1.6 million sales price would appear to be very low because – while it is only 10 of the 19 acres – a plat filed by Ramsey with the Jefferson County Clerk in February shows the house and other improvements are located within the 10-acre tract sold to Anchorage Place. Ethics laws applying to the governor and other executive branch officials do not require immediate disclosure of major changes in their personal property or financial holdings to the Executive Branch Ethics Commission.
Such state officials are required only to file an annual personal financial report with the commission that includes listing any property ownership worth more than $10,000.
Officials must file such reports by April 15 of each year for the prior calendar year. Because the Anchorage property was sold this year, anything Bevin might be required to disclose related to it would not have to be reported to the commission until April 15, 2018.
The governor and his wife, Glenna Bevin, who have nine children, bought a home in Cherokee Gardens in 1999. News reports a month ago revealed Bevin was late in paying his 2016 property taxes on that home. He paid the $11,080 in taxes and penalties due after those news reports. Jefferson County Clerk and Property Valuation Administrator records show that property is still owned by the Bevins.
Matt Bevin’s primary and general election campaigns for governor received a combined $4,000 from Neil Ramsey and his wife. Ramsey also gave $10,000 to the Republican Party of Kentucky in the fall of 2015 and another $10,000 to the Republican Party of Kentucky in the fall of 2016. And in November 2015, Neil Ramsey gave $15,000 to the committee that paid for Bevin’s inauguration celebration the following month.
Earlier this year The Courier-Journal filed an Open Records Act request with the Kentucky Finance and Administration Cabinet seeking records of costs incurred by the state to make security improvements to Bevin’s personal residence in Jefferson County since he was elected governor.
The cabinet records show about $32,400 in such security expenses in late 2015, plus approximately $30,800 more in late 2016 and early this year. The location of where these improvements were made, and other parts of the records, were redacted under an exemption to the open records law for release of records that threaten public safety.