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Henry's '07 campaign for gov. scrutinized

Former Lt. Gov. Steve Henry confirmed he has received a complaint from the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance outlining campaign violations stemming from Henry's 2007 bid for governor.

Henry said the complaint raises questions about $15,000 from his 2007 campaign with running mate Renee True. That slate spent more than $1.7 million on its way to finishing third in the Democratic primary with 17.5 percent of the vote.

Among the issues Henry said his campaign must resolve is whether the campaign paid all of its vendors. He also said the campaign inadvertently took contributions from at least two corporations. Kentucky campaign finance laws bar corporations from contributing to state election candidates.

Henry, reached Friday by phone, said the campaign has refunded problem donations and said any violation was inadvertent.

"I can't criticize those people for slipping up and letting those things get through," Henry said. "But they're minimal. You're talking 99.8 percent effectiveness."

The registry's complaint, the result of an audit the registry performs on all statewide campaigns, hasn't been made public.

By law, any complaints are first given only to those cited for possible violations, who then have 15 days to respond before the allegations become public, said Sarah M. Jackson, the registry's executive director.

A complaint would be heard before the registry's board, which could decide to penalize candidates, campaign workers or donors if it's determined that they knowingly violated the laws.

"If they want to fine us, they'll fine us," Henry said.

Meanwhile, Henry remains under investigation by a special prosecutor, who is looking into whether he skirted federal and state campaign finance laws by using an exploratory committee for the U.S. Senate race to test the waters about running for governor.

Henry said he didn't know the status of that probe.

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