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Kentucky Lt. Governor files ethic complaint against State AG

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May 4, 2010

FRANKFORT, Kentucky: Democratic Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky Daniel Mongiardo filed an official complaint with the state's Executive Branch Ethics Commission on Monday, May 3, 2010, against Democratic State Attorney General Jack Conway. Mongiardo has argued that since the attorney general's office negotiates utility rate increases, it is a conflict of interest to "accept campaign contributions from utility company executives or lobbyists."[1]

Conway's office has argued that because he is not a sitting member of the Public Service Commission (PSC) and therefore does not have an actual vote in determining whether any utility rate increase is accepted or rejected. Mongiardo contends, however, that this is a baseless argument, noting that as the state's top law enforcer Conway serves a "very specific regulatory oversight role and power over utility companies applying for and requesting a utility rate increase."[1]

The complaint comes just two weeks before both men face each other, along with three other candidates, in the state's Democratic primary in the race for the United States Senate seat held by retiring Republican Jim Bunning. The latest poll taken in April 2010 shows Mongiardo with a very thin three-point margin of victory over Conway.[2] The State Attorney General has gained significant ground on his primary opponent as a survey a month earlier had shown him with a nearly insurmountable eighteen-point deficit.

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