McCracken Co. Commissioner releases statement about alleged blackmail

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Reporter - Jason Hibbs
Reporter - Briana Conner
Photographer - Justin Jones
Photographer - Mike Spissinger

PADUCAH - McCracken County Commissioner Jerry Beyer held a news conference on Friday afternoon to address concerns about a threatening email from former McCracken County Emergency Management Director Paul Carter.

Beyer accuses Carter of trying to coerce him to vote against Carter's formal reprimand stemming from a scuffle on Interstate 24 last year.

Beyer explained that this situation came to light about one month ago when County Commissioner Ronnie Freeman filed a formal complaint about what he calls an "illegal payment". It was payment that the county made to Carter for almost $32,000 for overtime and unpaid vacation. In the complaint, Freeman asked authorities to investigate the payment and the fact that Carter was currently under investigation. Beyer said that Freeman violated his personal trust by releasing this confidential information.

According to Beyer's statement, he received an email from Paul Carter on October 11th, 2013. Carter allegedly used "threatening" language to try and persuade Beyer to change his vote to avoid Carter from being reprimanded for July 2013 highway scuffle incident. Carter brought up an incident that happened to Beyer 33 years ago involving a phone call to a female in Richmond, Kentucky. The female allegedly contacted campus police after the call, but it is unclear if the incidents are related. No charges were filed, according to Beyer.

Beyer said he has not released information about this incident until now because the Kentucky State Police were investigating Paul Carter at the time. The statement also said that Beyer once considered Carter a friend, and that he was "deeply saddened" that he would try to use "smear tactics" for personal gain.

No questions were taken after the news conference. You can watch the full news conference by clicking the video player in the story.

To read the email that Carter allegedly sent to Beyer, click here.

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