Quick Takes

Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission will celebrate 30th anniversary with public reception Oct. 10

By: - October 9, 2023 5:45 am

Kentucky Capitol (Getty Images)

The Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission — created 30 years ago in response to a scandal that rocked the Capitol — will celebrate its anniversary at noon Tuesday, Oct. 10, with a public reception.

The event in room 154 of the Capitol Annex will follow the commission’s regular meeting at 10 a.m. in room 171.

A release from Laura Hendrix, the commission’s executive director, recounts the history of a federal investigation called Operation BOPTROT that led to the criminal convictions of 21 people, including 15 state legislators, on charges such as extortion, bribery, racketeering and lying to the FBI.

In response, the General Assembly created a task force that drafted new codes of ethics for the legislative and executive branches, as well as new campaign finance and contracting laws, which were enacted during a special session in 1993 convened by Gov. Brereton Jones. No sitting lawmakers serve on the Legislative Ethics Commission. The legislature strengthened the rules for lawmakers and lobbyists in 2014.

The nine-member commission and its staff advise lawmakers and lobbyists how to comply with the ethics rules it enforces.

Says the release: “Since KLEC’s inception 30 years ago, and the passage of the Code, no sitting Kentucky legislator
has been convicted of a felony arising from the use of his or her office. Most importantly, the culture in
the Capitol has changed, due in large part to the diligent education and advisory efforts of the
Commission members and staff, the continued strong support of Kentucky’s legislators and lobbying
entities, and public expectation that the core principles of the Code are maintained.”

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