Politics & Government

Two companies linked to Alison Grimes failed to file annual reports before deadline

FRANKFORT — Two businesses associated with Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes failed to meet the July 1 annual reporting deadline required by her state office.

Grimes organized both businesses and has an ownership interest in one of them, but her father, former state Democratic Party Chairman Jerry Lundergan, took the blame Tuesday for missing the filing deadline.

Lundergan is listed as the sole officer for both businesses — Glenncase and GCL Properties — in filings with the secretary of state's office. Glenncase, in which Grimes has an ownership interest, involves 11-plus acres on New Circle Road. GCL Properties owns the Carriage House on Limestone Street.

"We have 10 or so different corporations," Lundergan said. "It was an oversight these two had not filed on time, so I immediately took care of them, correcting the oversight." Lundergan said his daughter "didn't treat me any differently" than other business owners.

Grimes, who is challenging U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in next year's election, reminded businesses June 20 in a news release that they must file an annual report with her office and pay a $15 filing fee no later than July 1.

In a news release Monday morning, Grimes said more than 156,500 businesses in the state complied by July 1, but about 41,000 have yet to file their reports and are no longer in good standing with her office. The terms "good" and "bad" standing, used by the secretary of state's office, designate whether businesses have filed an annual report.

State law requires the secretary of state to mail a final, 60-day notice to businesses that fail to meet the July 1 filing deadline. Failure to comply with the 60-day notice will result in dissolution of the business or revocation of authority to do business in Kentucky. If the business continues, civil penalties may result.

Just before 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Glenncase and GCL Properties were listed online as being in bad standing with the state. Later Tuesday, the companies were listed in good standing after the Herald-Leader asked Grimes' office and Lundergan about the businesses.

"This unforced error shows a lack of understanding of her personal business operations and of her current elected office, and calls into question her ability to effectively represent Kentucky in the U.S. Senate," said Scott Jennings, a senior adviser with the conservative political action committee Kentuckians for Strong Leadership.

Grimes' political consultant, Jonathan Hurst, issued a statement Tuesday evening reiterating that Grimes was not the person responsible for paying the filing fee for either business. "This story is a blatant attempt to mislead voters," Hurst said.

Lynn Zellen, a spokeswoman for the secretary of state's office, said Grimes routinely filed articles of organization for many businesses when she was a practicing business attorney in Lexington.