A candidate for an at-large seat on the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council served time in jail for domestic violence, assault and violations of a protective order in 2012 and 2013, according to court documents.
In addition, Matt Miniard, a real estate appraiser who works in Lexington and around Central Kentucky, has lost his appraiser's license twice in the past two decades for violating standards and has paid numerous fines.
Miniard, 61, told the Herald-Leader he is a victim of the criminal justice system and the Kentucky Real Estate Appraisers Board, which is why he's running for one of three at-large spots on council. He is one of 10 candidates in the at-large race. The top six vote-getters in the May 22 primary move on to the general election in November.
"I’m very, very talented at what I do and people get jealous," Miniard said in a phone interview in which he compared his struggle to the Civil Rights Movement. "The only way to get social justice and social equality is to expose it for what it is, and I’m taking it head on by running."
Miniard is the subject of a lengthy trail of court documents, which include everything from numerous tickets for speeding and running red lights to more serious charges. His domestic violence issues began in 2012 with his then-girlfriend, with whom he had a daughter. The girlfriend received a protective order against him in July 2012, according to court documents. By Aug. 1, Miniard was arrested for violating that order; the next day he was arraigned for two violations of the order.
On Sept. 27, 2012, he was sentenced to 90 days in jail for 4th degree assault, terroristic threatening and violations of the protective order. He reported to jail on Oct. 8.
Miniard's lawyer then asked that he be released to care for his sick wife. In that filing, the attorney explained that one violation of the protective order was because Miniard's wife lived across the street from his girlfriend and daughter and the order prohibited him from going within 500 feet of their residence. The motion for early release was denied, but the court later amended the protective order to 30 feet.
In 2013, Miniard served 90 days in jail for fourth degree domestic violence against the girlfriend. In the meantime, he filed a complaint against her, claiming that she knocked his glasses off his head and destroyed them.
Miniard said he entered Alford pleas to the various charges against him. In an Alford plea, a defendant asserts innocence, but admits the evidence could lead to a conviction.
Miniard grew up in Hazard and attended community college and Eastern Kentucky University, according to his resume. He worked a variety of jobs, including civil draftsman, construction superintendent and leasing agent, before getting into real estate. He started his own firm, Blue Grass Realty and Appraisal, in 1988.
His troubles with the Kentucky Real Estate Appraisers Board began in 2001, when he was fined $1,500 and required to get 40 hours of training for failure to follow "professional practice rules." Miniard's discipline orders were obtained by the Herald-Leader under the state Open Records Act.
All appraisers' board investigations come from outside complaints. In 2005, he received a letter of admonishment for shoddy appraisal practices; in 2007, he paid another fine and more training for rule violations. In 2009, he lost his license for a year after a hearing board found him in violation of several standards, including appraising a Magoffin County property for $189,000 when it had sold two years before for $89,000.
In 2012, the board suspended his license for six months and required him to pay a $2,000 fine for more violations. He appealed the decision, but it was upheld by the Franklin County Circuit Court and the Kentucky Court of Appeals.
"About 10 percent of my career I've gone without a license, so it just depends on how you interpret it," Miniard said. "The system is so rigged you can't win."
He blames his domestic violence problems on Steve Nunn, a former state legislator who was convicted of killing his former girlfriend in 2009.
"Everybody had to tighten up because of him," he said.
He calls the courts "jokes of justice."
Miniard said he if he loses the at-large race, he will focus on the state Senate in 2020.
"I think I can make a difference," he said.