Politics

Gov. Matt Bevin is criticizing news coverage of his family’s move into a mansion in suburban Louisville earlier this year, saying questions over the home’s purchase are misplaced.

After an economic development announcement Friday afternoon, Bevin ranted for 12 minutes about several news outlets’ coverage of the transaction.

The Courier-Journal first reported that a home the Bevins moved into in March is owned by an organization called Anchorage Place LLC.

Neil Ramsey, the president of an investment company and who Bevin appointed to one of the state’s pension boards, sold the home to Anchorage Place LLC for $1.6 million — below the $2.7 million value assessed by the Jefferson County Property Valuation Administration.

Bevin has refused to answer questions about who owns Anchorage Place LLC, and on Friday said that questions over the sale of the house are inappropriate.

“You are destroying good people and their reputations,” Bevin said.

Richard Beliles, chairman of government watchdog group Common Cause of Kentucky, filed a complaint with the state’s Executive Branch Ethics Commission over the matter earlier on Friday.

Beliles alleges that Bevin used his position to get a deal on the house from Ramsey, who has also donated to Bevin’s political campaigns.

Bevin said that coverage of the deal could have a chilling effect on people who want to work in state government because reporters try to “destroy them, vilify them, smear and slander them.”

“People that are making the decisions to actually fix the pension system are the very same people that you’re trying to destroy,” Bevin said. “How do you expect to get men and women with any competence at all to actually serve on boards like the Kentucky Retirement System, to serve in the state legislature?”

Bevin’s comments came after an announcement that companies have promised to invest $5.8 billion in Kentucky so far this year and bring more than 9,500 jobs to the state.

Kentucky’s previous record for investment promises was $5.1 billion over one year.

Ryland Barton is the Capitol bureau chief for Kentucky Public Radio.