Politics

Kentucky’s Democratic attorney general has asked the Executive Branch Ethics Commission to investigate whether the Republican governor has used campaign contribution records as grounds for firing state workers.

The request is the latest escalation in the feud between Attorney General Andy Beshear and Gov. Matt Bevin.

Bevin took office in December and replaced Beshear’s father, two-term Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear.

Beshear’s letter to the commission requesting an investigation came days after Bevin announced he would hire a private law firm to investigate whether the former governor violated procurement laws and coerced state workers to donate to campaigns. Andy Beshear’s letter asked the ethics commission to take over that investigation.

Bevin spokeswoman Jessica Ditto said the administration would welcome a parallel investigation.

“While we welcome the Executive Branch Ethics Commission to conduct a parallel investigation, the allegations of corruption and coercion require an independent inquiry because they expand far beyond the scope of the Ethics Commission’s jurisdiction and capacity,” Ditto said. “There are serious matters of state law and procurement code that the Ethics Commission is not authorized to investigate.”

Andy Beshear said the ethics commission should investigate allegations about political donations.