An Ethics Allegation Against Alison Lundergan Grimes is Overturned by a Judge!

Former Kentucky Secretary of State, Alison Lundergan Grimes, has been vindicated as a judge reverses ethics charges against her concerning her handling of voter data during her tenure.

On Monday, Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd ruled against charges brought by the Executive Branch Ethics Commission, which previously imposed a $10,000 fine and reprimanded Grimes for her actions involving voter registration data access and distribution while she held the office of the secretary of state.

The ruling overturned the charges, relieving Grimes of the fine imposed by the commission.

The charges stemmed from an investigation initiated after reports by the Herald-Leader and ProPublica in early 2019, which scrutinized Grimes’ conduct during her tenure and her use of the Voter Registration System. These reports highlighted Grimes’ unusual authority over the State Board of Elections, her involvement in awarding a no-bid contract to a political donor’s company, and delays in addressing issues with the state’s voter rolls.

Grimes, 45, a prominent figure in the Kentucky Democratic Party, previously served two terms as secretary of state. She notably contested against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in 2014, albeit unsuccessfully.

The ethics commission accused Grimes of misusing her access to the Voter Registration System by downloading and sharing voter information without following proper procedures or paying required fees. However, Judge Shepherd deemed the charges “arbitrary and without substantial evidence,” emphasizing that Grimes’ actions did not violate any laws or ethical standards.

While acknowledging Grimes’ actions, Shepherd criticized the commission for failing to demonstrate how her conduct was illegal or unethical. He also noted that the commission’s final order was issued beyond the applicable statute of limitations.

Grimes’ father, former Kentucky Democratic Party Chairman Jerry Lundergan, had previously served time in federal prison for campaign finance violations related to the support provided to her Senate campaign. He was released in January, according to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.

The ruling marks a legal victory for Grimes, affirming her innocence in the face of the ethics charges brought against her.

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