Kentucky Auditor Report Finds Outdated Ethics Codes, Deserted Boards

Oct 14, 2020

Nearly half of Kentucky's 120 counties haven't changed or updated their ethics codes since they were put in place in the mid-90s. That's according to a new report from State Auditor Mike Harmon.

Kentucky Auditor Mike Harmon
Credit AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley

Harmon says his office decided to a deep dive into counties' ethics codes, and the boards meant to enforce them, after failed attempts to refer audit matters to those panels.

"We discovered several of those boards were inactive and appointments to those boards had expired," the auditor said.

The findings: nearly half had outdated ethics codes, 35 counties had no one appointed to their local ethics boards or commissions, and eight counties only began appointing members after the auditor started asking questions.

A further 10 counties required no annual financial disclosures for local candidates, while four counties posted no ethics codes pertaining to nepotism.

The General Assembly passed legislation in 1994 requiring local governments to establish ethics codes and enforce them through locally appointed boards and commissions.