Saturday, September 26, 2009

KING GUILTY BUT UNKNOWINGLY

I have been trying to decide how to write this update on the King situation. Really I know that sounds strange considering I have been the one pursuing this case and should be able to write fluently at this point yet the KREF decision defies all logic and common sense.

You see I am a father and I would do anything for my kids that they needed. But I would do it legally and ethically. As a parent I believe we are responsible to lead by example with our children. But you see there is another problem here as well.

When does one become an adult and responsible for their actions whether legal or illegal.

In short, when does a parent stop getting to use the parent/child, or do it for the kids, argument for a scapegoat. The law says at 18 we are legal adults and legally responsible for our actions.

In this case considering a Judgeship was the goal wouldn't it be obvious that Katie King should be adult enough to stand on her own two feet? Or that Jim King cannot get by with the sympathy play of the poor dad helping his poor daughter?


My kids are now 25 and 22. They know better and they saw right through this immediately. As adults they expect to be punished if they commit a criminal act. Not hide behind me for cover. That is maturity and personal responsibility.

If we allow this kind of feeble attempt to cloud the judgement of this case then what does that say about the maturity level of a now sitting Judge that has now been found to use illegal means in trying to obtain that job? And she sits in judgment of others? What does that say?

Jim King says Katie asked him if it was legal.

Why would an attorney seeking a Judgeship ask a CPA for legal advice?

The law was clearly broken. Even I agree with the KREF findings in that regard. I do not agree that it was unknowingly when the evidence clearly states otherwise.

To date the King's have been using an email from July and focusing on one single sentence from that email that states the registry does not regulate the private finances of a candidate and conveniently ignoring the advice from Jan Hines and the link to the law that was given in the response.

Of course the Registry does not regulate the private finances. That is a no brainer.

However, the registry clearly does exclude family members from gifting unlimited amounts of cash to an announced family member who is running for office. This is a well known fact by Sheryl Snyder and Amy Cubbage of Frost, Brown, and Todd. And therein starts the major problems in this case.


You see it was not until Thursday afternoon that another email was faxed to me by the KREF themselves( one day prior to the hearing).

In June (one month prior to the King email they have used) Sarah Jackson at the KREF had sent an email to King attorney Amy Cubbage telling her that the King's could not do what they did as they were limited to the same $1000 contribution as anyone else.

Amy Cubbage had called the registry seeking the same advice that Jim King sought one month later. Sarah Jackson responded in the email assumedly so she would have some sort of written record of the phone call.


This is very important as Ms. Cubbage, and Mr. Snyder, both of Frost, Brown, and Todd had worked to get HB 750 passed in 2000.

HB 750 would have allowed unlimited cash gifts from family members but the General Assembly threw it out and never passed it into law. This essentially means that cash gifts from family members exceeding the $1000 contribution limits are not allowed as the Registry has clearly stated to the King's. A position the registry has always maintained.


In May 2008 the week prior to the primary election King "gifted" his daughter $10,000 that he says was customary of his normal gifting practices each year to her as part of estate planning. The problem is he never sent, nor in his defense was he ever asked to send, evidence of this practice.

The KREF took him at his sworn under oath word. Considering the serious allegations brought forth in this matter of campaign finance impropriety it would seem evidence should have at least been requested but was not.


This was prior to the July email that King later sent telling him family could only contribute what anyone else could. Of course we now know his lawyers had asked about the same thing in June 2008 and were given the same answer.

For their Response to the Complaint, Jim King stated as follows (sworn under oath of penalty of perjury):


Mr. King inquired of the Registry staff on July 18, 2008 whether he could make an unconditional gift of cash in excess of $1,000 to his daughter knowing that the daughter might then contribute the money to her own campaign. On July 21, 2008, the Registry staff replied to Mr. King's inquiry: ''The Registry does not regulate the private finances of a candidate.?" Based upon that advice from.the Registry staff, Mr.King's privately retained legal counsel advised Mr. King that he could, if he so chose, make a personal gift to Judge King that Judge King might then contribute to her campaign.

Of course we now know that Amy Cubbage of Frost, Brown, and Todd had requested guidance one month earlier. So what does this say about the defense attorney's? They knowingly left out the fact that they themselves had contacted the registry prior to the July email they now use as evidence?

My response was this:

At the time of.Mr. King's alleged July 18th_21st email exchange with the Registry, Respondents' campaign had already retained the services of attorney Amy D. Cubbage. Mr. King was uniquely positioned to know his rights, Ms. Cubbage's expertise in campaign finance and government relations belying the notion that Respondents were uninformed about the law at that time.

In fact, at no time from January 2008 to November 2008 did Respondents, by themselves, or through counsel request an advisory opinion from the Registry, nor does their Response indicate that Ms. Cubbage ever communicated with the Registry on this matter.


I was wrong in this as the email from June given to me Thursday afternoon now shows. But this raises serious charges now since the attorney for King at the time, Amy Cubbage of Frost, Brown, and Todd HAD contacted the registry prior to July.

Then King responded with this:


Mr. King then shared this exchange of e-mails with his private retained counsel, and she advised Mr. King that he could, if he so chose, make a personal gift to Judge King that Judge King might then contribute to her campaign,.....

The problem here is a simple one. According to a WLKY news report last night by Andy Aalcock, Shery Snyder, when asked if his office gave King permission to do this he responded "no of course not."


And now we have a serious issue even above and beyond the registry. Did Sheryl Snyder or Amy Cubbage tell King he could do this as King has sworn under oath they did? If so considering their involvement with HB 750 in 2000 they have facilitated a criminal act and therefore can be disbarred. If not, then King lied under oath under penalty of perjury and can be prosecuted for it.

The difference in law of knowing or unknowing in this case is substantial. If the KREF ruling holds up, and AG Conway does not do his job in appointing a special prosecutor, the Kings can be fined up to $65,000 only with no admission of guilt.

Seems like a lot of money to most of us but little to King himself.

Remember fines or other repercussions are by design to be used as punishment to deter someone from committing a crime again. Is a fine in this case ample punishment for knowingly breaking the law? If the King's were to be prosecuted then all counts would be felonies and punishable by forfeiture of office for himself and his daughter and possible prison time.


As is clearly the case by the registry's ruling most certainly everyone involved in the decision making part of this process is opting for a slap on the wrist and not a felony.

Sheryl Snyder's arguments included alluding to Bruce Lunsford's failed campaigns where he loaned himself $7 million. He stated that this case is no different than Lunsford gifting money to himself.

There is one huge difference.

The law does not regulate the private finances of a candidate and Mr. Lunsford gave himself his own money. He did not get it from his dad or other family members. The law has never kept a candidate from giving themselves money nor should it.


The other argument was it would be no different than if Jim King gave Katie this money 4 years ago from a trust fund and assumedly she kept it until now to spend on her campaign. Of course it does.

Giving money to her when not in an election is no one's business. Giving money to her knowing she will use it for election purposes, AFTER announcing yourself as a candidate, is illegal as the Registry clearly decided.


Based on the evidence even the registry stated in their summary report that it clearly defies logic that a seasoned veteran politician like King, or his counsel, did not know. Yet they made it an unknowing violation. This is so contradictory I cannot see how any eighth grader could not prosecute this mess and win.

So now we have seemingly possible bar violations by Frost, Brown, and Todd legal staff Sheryl Snyder and/or Amy Cubbage, as well as possible perjury by Jim King himself based on the new email, sworn statements, and public record by Mr. Snyder.

Funnily enough Katie King herself has never been on the record in any way, shape, or form as even the registry themselves point out that she is clearly responsible for this as well.

I promised at the beginning of this that I would stay with this until the end. I had hoped this hearing would clarify this and end this. really I do have other things to do. the problem is we now have even more questions and serious issues to be addressed and answered than we did when this started.

It is because of my promise that I have to say the case goes on..........

3 comments:

  1. Financial privilege may guarantee a path to public office, but it doesn't afford one that office, after breaking the law.

    Why haven't they both resigned? This reminds me of Watergate. Don't they get it?

    ReplyDelete
  2. They will not resign willingly period. The political climate in Louisville does indeed in a smaller sense resemble Watergate but remember Nixon did not resign willingly and neither will they unless it is to avoid jail. In this case the efforts by those involved are intent on avoiding that scenario.

    Thanks for writing.

    ReplyDelete
  3. What part of the cannons of judicial conduct applicable to both candidates for a seat on the bench as well as sitting judges does Miss King (I refuse to call her a judge) not understand? Non lawyers like myself can clearly understand the following why can't Miss King with her law degree? Did she miss ethics classes in favor of some more pleasureble activity like sleeping in?

    CANON 2

    A judge shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all of the judge's activities.

    CANON 5

    A judge or judicial candidate shall refrain from inappropriate political
    activity.

    Do the right thing Miss King! You know you broke the law, now step down from the bench and stop taking the taxpayer's hard earned money and let them elect someone worthy of wearing the robe.

    ReplyDelete

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Ed Springston

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