Beshears respond to Bevin’s accusations

Former Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear has called Republican Gov. Matt Bevin’s investigation of his procurement practices a "pathetic spectacle" and says the accusations have no basis in truth.

Bevin accused his predecessor on Tuesday of issuing no-bid contracts to benefit friends and forcing state workers to make political donations. Bevin said he will hire a private law firm and give it subpoena power to help the Finance Cabinet investigate the allegations.

The former governor said he never forced employees to donate to political campaigns and said he followed the spirit and letter of procurement laws. He said Bevin’s investigation is an attempt to distract people from his own administration’s problems. And he noted Bevin has refused to release his personal tax returns. Beshear released his tax returns while he was governor.

Attorney General Andy Beshear, Steve Beshear’s son, says hiring a private law firm to help investigate his predecessor is overstepping Bevin’s authority under state law.

The attorney general says the Executive Branch Ethics Commission should be the one to examine any allegations of wrongdoing.

Bevin also is calling on the attorney general to return campaign contributions from Tim Longmeyer, a former official in Steve Beshear’s administration who has pleaded guilty to federal bribery charges. the attorney general says he did not know of Longmeyer’s activities and plans to donate any left over money from his campaign to Common Cause, a government watchdog group.

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