December 28, 2018 Blog, Media

Ethics Complaint Filed Against Republican Speaker-Elect David Osborne

Once again Kentucky Republican House Leadership is attempting to swindle taxpayers and overturn the election of Democrat Jim Glenn.

The closely contested race has twice revealed Jim Glenn as victor —yet the losing Republican candidate DJ Johnson refuses to accept his defeat. Glenn’s one vote election victory was challenged by Johnson and the bipartisan State Board of Elections performed a recanvass and certified the results. Despite these efforts, Johnson has requested that Kentucky Republicans overturn the results and declare him the winner.

The Ethics Complaint accuses Kentucky House of Representatives Speaker-Elect David Osborne of improperly authorizing the expenditure of taxpayer funds for a partisan political purpose. Documents submitted with the Ethics Complaint show that the Election Contest was prepared and signed by House attorneys Eric Lycan and Jeffrey Kaplan, who acted as lawyers for the losing candidate, DJ Johnson, as well as for Speaker Osborne. Glenn is questioning whether the GOP used taxpayer resources to pay for partisan counsel in Johnson’s attempt to unseat him. Speaker-Elect Osborne has refused to commit to seating Representative-Elect Jim Glenn, despite the 2019 General Assembly opening within the next week.

Professor Paul Salamanca, a UK College of Law professor hired by Speaker Osborne to oversee House Election Contest, recommended review by the Legislative Ethics Commission, according to documents submitted with the Complaint.

“These issues can be raised in the contest itself, before the Legislative Ethics Commission, or before the Kentucky Bar Association, as the case may be,” Salamanca wrote to counsel for Jim Glenn on 12/26/18.

“After both the Court and Professor Salamanca suggested review by the ethics watchdog, I filed the complaint,” said Anna Whites, Glenn’s attorney. “The law is clear that taxpayers aren’t supposed to pay for private political battles. Here it looks like they were forced to fund one side.”

Whites also is seeking an Opinion from the Kentucky Bar Association, as suggested by Professor Salamanca, to find out if lawyers are allowed to represent both Speaker Osborne and the party appearing before the House.

“One lawyer can’t possibly represent the losing candidate at the same time he is advising the Speaker. We have very clear Bar Association rules on this.”

Earlier this month, in defiance of Kentucky’s Open Records Laws Republican House leadership, refused to turn over information that may show whether they used staff attorneys to interfere in the election challenge.

Kentucky Open Records Law requires that the custodian of records respond within three (3) days.  Seven (7) days have passed since the filing of the request and there has been no response from the custodian of records.

“The people of the 13th State House District were assured about the integrity of this year’s elections when the official recanvass results returned the exact same results and the bipartisan Board of Elections certified those same results — that Jim Glenn won by 1 vote,” said Kentucky Democratic Party Spokeswoman Marisa McNee. “DJ Johnson is attempting to steal an election through a highly politicized process controlled by his own party. It’s unfortunate that Johnson would tarnish his short time as a state representative by attempting to disenfranchise voters rather than accept the results of a close election.”