Panel Accuses Kentucky's Ex-Tourism Chief of Misusing Funds

May 15, 2012

Kentucky’s Executive Branch Ethics Commission is alleging former Tourism Commissioner Mike Cooper misused state resources for his own financial gain.  The Lexington Herald-Leader reported Monday the ethics panel also alleges Cooper failed to follow personnel rules for travel expenses, charged personal items to a state-issued credit card and conducted personal business while on state travel.  

Cooper resigned in February after the newspaper obtained documents indicating he allowed a state contractor to pay $735 for meals, party tickets and other expenses during an unauthorized trip to England last June.  The charges are based on an initial investigation begun in December.  Cooper could not be reached for comment. He has 20 days to respond to the charges.