FRANKFORT, Ky. - A former government official who had served as second in command at the Kentucky Justice Cabinet was charged Monday with violating the state's ethics code by allegedly using his position to solicit money for Gov. Steve Beshear's re-election campaign last year.
The Executive Branch Ethics Commission took the action against former Deputy Justice Secretary Charles Geveden after finding probable cause to believe that he called employees in the Justice Cabinet and assigned "a specific dollar amount" that they should contribute based on their positions and salaries.
Ethics Commission Executive Director John Steffen said employees making $90,000 or more were told they should make the maximum allowable campaign contribution of $1,000.
"So, basically, you have a person in authority calling you up and saying 'hey, you need to support the governor in the next campaign,'" Steffen said.
Geveden's attorney, Guthrie True of Frankfort, said he had been out of town Monday on an unrelated case and hasn't yet reviewed the ethics charges so he couldn't comment.
The case is getting attention beyond the Ethics Commission. True said investigators from the FBI and the attorney general's office have been questioning people about the allegations.
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