Each year, the Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission collects financial disclosure reports from state-level elected officials and makes them available for public scrutiny.
As a means to deter conflicts of interest, the reports include sources of income and where elected officials have personal investments but not the amount of income from those sources. The penalty for not filing by the Feb. 14 deadline is $100 per day up to $1,000, and a legislator who knowingly files false information in the disclosure is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.
Freshman House member, Rep. Joe Graviss, D-Versailles, said the disclosures are critical to keeping government independent and transparent.
"I think it's crucially important," he said. "I think it's very necessary because people need to know there's no conflict of interest — that as legislators, we're not crafting legislation to benefit our portfolio or our portfolio managers."
The State Journal recently reviewed reports of the three lawmakers who represent Franklin County in the General Assembly.
Sen. Julian Carroll, D-Frankfort, reported having an investment worth more than $10,000 or owning more than 5% interest in Kings Royal Biotech Inc. in Frankfort and receiving income from his law practice, a Kentucky retirement check, New York Life insurance dividend, Prudential Insurance settlement and his salary for being a state senator.
Carroll holds a fiduciary position in Morning Side Church in Branson, Missouri, and owns farmland in Frankfort. He also owes more than $10,000 to Republic Bank of Frankfort for "goods other than those used for personal, family or household purposes."
Carroll, who served as governor from 1975-1979, was elected to his current Senate seat in 2005. He said recently that he will not seek re-election next year and endorsed Graviss as his successor.
State Rep. Derrick Graham, D-Frankfort, reported having an investment worth more than $10,000 or owning more than 5% interest in the following: Kentucky Deferred Compensation in Frankfort; The Legend Group in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida; Jackson National Life in Lansing, Michigan; and Thrift and Savings Plan in New Orleans. He reported that he receives income from the Kentucky General Assembly and Kentucky’s Teachers’ Retirement System.
Graham’s spouse owns residential property in Danville, and he owes more than $10,000 to Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Inc. "for goods other than those used for personal, family or household purposes."
Graham has served in the House since 2003.
Graviss reported holding numerous municipal bonds and stocks worth more than $10,000 that he said were chosen by his financial investment firm for he and his wife's retirement.
Graviss holds a fiduciary position as a board member of Woodford Tomorrow, Woodford County Democratic Executive Committee, Kentucky Democratic Party State Central Executive Committee, Nursing Home Ombudsman Agency of the Bluegrass, Bluegrass Bike Hike Horseback and Water Trails Alliance. He also owns a bass boat in Monticello.
Graviss’ wife receives compensation from her art studio, Graviss Studios. He was elected last year.