May 22, 2020 Blog, Press Release

Questions Mount for AG Cameron Regarding Hiring of Staff Involved in Controversial Bevin Pardons

The Courier-Journal is reporting that two of Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s top staffers were directly involved in controversial pardons made by former Gov. Matt Bevin, raising questions about what Cameron knew and when.

Steve Pitt, who serves as counsel and special adviser to the attorney general since Cameron took office in December, had direct influence in the pardon of Dayton Jones, a convicted sex offender. Jones’ case was one of several that involved political donations to Bevin. Since his pardon, Jones has been accused of producing and sharing child pornography.

The Courier-Journal reported that Pitt wrote “personally, I think he’s served long enough and should at least get a commutation,” in regards to Jones. Pitt also doubted that Jones was guilty, the newspaper reported.

The other Cameron staffer in question, solicitor general Chad Meredith, was involved in the pardon of Patrick Baker, who was convicted of a Knox County murder, the Courier-Journal reported. Baker’s pardon was heavily influenced by GOP donor Terry Forcht, who is still actively giving to GOP candidates. The Forchts donated $6,000 to Cameron’s Attorney General campaign.

Cameron’s hiring of Pitt and Meredith was noted by Courier-Journal journalist Joe Gerth in December 2019, raising questions about their role in the controversial pardons. Cameron dodged questions on those topics.

“It’s clear that Daniel Cameron has put two people directly responsible for some of Matt Bevin’s controversial pardons at the top of the Attorney General’s office. It’s time for Daniel Cameron to come clean with the public: what did he know and when did he know it? These pardons were extremely controversial, and raised many questions about the ethics of the decision. Kentuckians deserve an explanation from the Attorney General,” said Kentucky Democratic Party Spokesperson Marisa McNee.

Here are the questions raised in regards to Daniel Cameron and Bevin’s pardons:

 

  • Did Cameron know Pitt and Meredith were involved in the Jones and Baker pardons when he hired them?
  • If Cameron did not know, will he hold Pitt and Meredith accountable for hiding the truth?
  • If Cameron did know, why did he hire two attorneys involved in Bevin’s controversial pardons?