Report on Beshear's Law Firm Released

Ethics has become a major theme in this years race for governor in Kentucky.

The release of a twelve-year-old confidential ethics report on the former law firm of Democratic candidate Steve Beshear was seen by some as possibly having an impact on the election.

Beshear and his former lawfirm, Stites & Harbison, played leading roles in the liquidation of the company, Kentucky Central Life Insurance, after it was taken over by the state in 1992.

The report released on Oct. 6 says the law firm should have withdrawn more than a decade ago as legal counsel on the corporate bankruptcy case because of a conflict of interest.

Former gubernatorial candidate and longtime Kentucky Republican leader Larry Forgy is accusing Beshear and his firm of not just unethical, but illegal behavior, of conspiracy involving former Circuit Judge William Graham who helped commission the ethics investigation and then ordered it kept confidential.

"Well apparently Larry Forgy has gone off his medication again. The special judge that reviewed this report has concluded that I have done absolutely nothing wrong or nothing unethical," assured gubernatorial candidate Steve Beshear.

Meanwhile, Judge Graham refuted the charge saying the liquidation was one of the most successful liquidations in the history of this kind of law.

Stites & Harbison released a statement saying the report shows there was "no basis" of unethical conduct on Beshear's part.

The firm says interest in the report has been driven exclusively by the governor's race.


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