U.S. attorney on former cabinet secretary’s plea
A former Kentucky lobbyist convicted of bribing a state official to try to get work for clients has agreed to pay $15,000 to settle separate allegations of violating ethics rules.
The Kentucky Executive Branch Ethics Commission announced the settlement with James F. Sullivan on Monday.
The commission said in a news release that Sullivan faced 20 counts of violating state rules governing lobbyists.
Sullivan failed to register with the ethics commission as required from 2005 though 2014, which accounted for half the charges, the commission said.
The other 10 charges alleged that Sullivan set up a deal to represent a company, with his pay contingent on a state agency making a decision for his client.
Executive-branch lobbyists can’t make deals in which their pay depends on getting a decision from an agency.
Sullivan agreed to receive a public reprimand for the violations and to not appeal.
In a separate news release, the agency announced a $50,000 penalty against Cannon Cochran Management Services, Inc., an insurance provider based in Illinois.
Sullivan lobbied for the company.
The company did not admit wrongdoing, but did not contest 14 counts of violating the state ethics code, some for not registering with the state after hiring a person to try to influence state-agency decisions or conduct lobbying.
Those charges covered the same period as the ones against Sullivan for not registering.
Other counts alleged that the company took part in a deal to pay someone based on the outcome of an executive-agency decision from 2005 through 2008.
The company also accepted a reprimand.
A federal jury convicted Sullivan of giving a $1,000 bribe to Tim Longmeyer, head of the state Personnel Cabinet, in March 2016.
Longmeyer was the top deputy to Attorney General Andy Beshear at the time, and Sullivan was trying to get business from the office for law firms.
There has been no evidence showing that Beshear, a Democrat who is running for governor, had any knowledge of wrongdoing by Longmeyer.
Longmeyer quit the day after Sullivan gave him the $1,000 bribe and ultimately pleaded guilty to taking payoffs in return for getting state business for a Lexington company called MC Squared.
U.S. District Judge Karen K. Caldwell sentenced Sullivan to two years and nine months in federal prison and fined him $25,000.