For Immediate Release: Wednesday, April 29, 2020
(FRANKFORT, Ky.) – Today, the Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions, Kentucky’s first and only free market think tank, filed an appeal with the state attorney general’s office after failing to receive a response from Gov. Andy Beshear’s administration to an open-records request regarding whether the governor’s mansion is abiding by the same COVID-19 protocol forced upon Kentucky businesses the governor deems “nonessential.”
The request seeks to inspect or obtain copies of the timesheets of mansion staff, excluding state troopers who serve on the governor’s personal-protection detail.
“Completely failing to respond to an open records request in the legally allowed time frame is a clear violation of the law,” said Bluegrass Institute President and CEO Jim Waters. “Gov. Beshear’s blatant disregard for transparency laws is disturbing since as a former attorney general himself he understands that such a lack of open government affects citizens’ ability to hold elected officials accountable for their decisions.”
According to the mansion’s website, 12 to 15 employees are full-time while “several part-time staffers” cover special events. Along with an executive director, employees cover a variety of duties, including housekeeping, landscaping and meal preparation.
“Beshear’s rules have resulted in thousands of small businesses closing, tens of thousands of employees facing financial hardship and citizens being intimidated for simply attending church services,” Waters added. “Now, his lack of response suggests staff workers at his mansion – most, if not all, are considered nonessential – are not subject to the same privation forced upon the entire commonwealth.”
Covid-19 relief legislation passed during this year’s General Assembly extends the usual timeframe for responding to open records requests from three to 10 business days.
The Bluegrass Institute filed the appeal 12 business days after the original request was made.
For more information or additional comment, please contact Jim Waters at email@example.com, 859.444.5630 ext. 102 (office) or 270.320.4376 (cell).