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9:44 am
Tue May 10, 2011

State Board of Elections Deferrs Ethics Question

Frankfort, Ky – The question of whether a registered lobbyist can serve on Kentucky's State Board of Elections remains unresolved. Kentucky Public Radio's Tony McVeigh says the ethics board that considered the question deferred action.

Stephen Huffman is a registered lobbyist for HCM Governmental Relations in Lexington. Last year, he was appointed by Gov. Steve Beshear to the State Board of Elections. Executive Branch Ethics Commission Director John Steffan says the appointment creates a conflict of interest, because Huffman works for an entity that lobbies the executive branch, including the governor

"We have addressed those type of conflicts by basically saying we can't tell you want to do in your private capacity, but we can say you're going to have to recuse so much in your official capacity, that you're service is basically rendered meaningless on the board."

But the ethics commission voted to defer any action on the matter, because no one has publicly complained about Huffman's service on the Board of Elections.