As reported here yesterday, Governor Bevin used a video tweet to accuse Attorney General Andy Beshear of a possible conflict of interest in the UofL Foundation Audit. The Governor said that the fact that AG Beshear used to belong to the same law firm as the Foundation lawyer “stinks to the high heavens.” In the same video, the Governor also accused the Courier-Journal of intentionally covering up the fact that the two lawyers once worked for the same law firm.
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After we reached out to both the AG’s office and the C-J, we received a note from Terry Sebastian of the AG’s staff, noting that Beshear had addressed the media on Monday, and was asked about the possibility of a conflict of interest during that press event. Here is the text from the end of the coverage as sent by the Associated Press:
The law firm where Beshear worked before his election represented the foundation for years. Beshear said Monday he didn’t perform any legal work for the foundation.
Asked if his past ties to the firm might necessitate his recusal if charges are pursued, he said: “I don’t think that we’ve seen anything now that would suggest that’s appropriate.” He added he’d be willing to “re-evaluate” if “we reach a point where there are concerns about that.”
Mr. Sebastian then sent a follow-on statement today:
The Governor is upset that the Attorney General is preparing to hold him accountable for his recent unlawful actions in purging state education boards and then rewriting the law through executive order. But before alleging some conspiracy, the Governor should probably watch the actual news conference and read more than one news account.
It would appear, then, that the Governor’s concern about a possible conflict of interest had already come up and been addressed by AG Beshear via various press channels, when the Governor made and posted his video.