Ethics complaints filed against Fayette County Coroner Gary Ginn have been dropped.
After hearing testimony for more than an hour Thursday night, the Fayette County Ethics Commission decided not to proceed with two complaints filed by Larry Owens against Ginn. Owens, a Republican, faces Ginn in the Nov. 4 general election.
Allison Connelly, chairwoman of the commission, said the commission could not disclose its decision or the reasons why the commission decided not to proceed. The preliminary hearing was held behind closed doors.
Owens, who previously disclosed that he had filed the complaint, was allowed to divulge the commission's decision.
Owens, who used to work for the coroner's office, said after Thursday's hearing that he was disappointed with the commission's decision but was moving forward with his campaign.
"I guess we will have to let the citizens of Fayette County decide," Owens said, referring to the election.
Ginn left the hearing after the decision and did not respond to requests for comment.
Owens filed two complaints alleging that Ginn's work as body bequeathal coordinator for the University of Kentucky Medical Center and as county coroner could be a conflict of interest. Owens alleged that Ginn works part-time for the county but receives full-time pay.
Ginn, a Democrat, has worked as the body bequeathal coordinator since 1986. He was first elected coroner in 2002.
Owens also alleged that Ginn frequently used his county-owned vehicle to drive to work at UK.
Ginn told the Herald-Leader in August that he had never hidden the fact that he worked for UK while serving as coroner. Ginn said UK officials made sure it was not a conflict of interest when he first ran for office. Ginn also said that his knowledge of anatomy and physiology helped in his work as coroner.
Ginn helps UK's medical school manage the donations of cadavers for study. Someone else in the coroner's office handles donations of bodies to UK to ensure there is not a conflict, Ginn has said.
He also denied that he worked only part-time. Ginn said he was available at all hours.
There is no county statute requiring a county official to work a minimum number of hours.
As coroner, Ginn makes a little more than $71,000 a year. According to UK employment records, he makes nearly $55,000 as body bequeathal coordinator.