A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Secretary of State Alison Grimes fires back against allegations as ‘political,’ focusing on becoming mom


By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes fired back on Wednesday against allegations of wrongdoing, including on Attorney General Andy Beshear, a fellow Democrat, naming an independent counsel to investigate her.


“People are fearful of what might come their way come 2019 and are seeking to do harm this year,” she said while also referring to Beshear in her response.

Alison Lundergan Grimes (Photo by Tom Latek)

“Whether you have someone using a constitutional office, literally, to conduct opposition research on a potential political opponent on the taxpayers’ dime or a governor who is using the executive agencies he stacked with Republican appointees, to try and tell me how to do my job.


“From the thousands of phone calls, text messages and emails that I have received from folks across this state, they see this for what this is.  They see these claims are baseless.”


In recent months, Grimes has been accused by State Board of Elections Executive Director Jared Dearing, a fellow Democrat, of violating a consent decree from a federal court and improperly accessing the list of registered voters for hiring purposes, among other things. 
 
The bi-partisan State Board of Elections unanimously upheld Grimes’ right to oversee the board and access voter rolls.


Dearing took his concerns to the Kentucky Personnel Board, which acts as an impartial judge of disputes between state government and its employees and the Republican Party of Kentucky has called for a federal investigation into the allegations, which Grimes described as political in nature.  They have also filed an ethics complaint against Grimes.


Beshear named Garrard County Attorney Mark Metcalf, a Republican, to conduct an investigation into the allegations against Grimes, stating in a letter to him: “As we discussed, the Office of Attorney General has not reached any conclusions on any matter in this investigation, and your appointment should in no way suggest there are or are not actionable allegations.”


The letter also allows Metcalf to analyze the initial allegations and take other steps he believes are warranted.


Grimes said she has hired more Republicans than Democrats in her administration. “So, if I was using political party affiliation, I haven’t been doing that effectively,” she chuckled.


When asked when she might announce her plans for next year, she replied she had a bigger priority for 2018, besides overseeing the election. 

 “That is my husband and I welcoming, hopefully, a healthy baby boy,” she said.  “Most importantly, adding another title to my name, one I never thought that I’d get to share with Kentucky.  That’s being a momma.”


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