Report: Kentucky Supreme Court Gets 'F' For Financial Disclosure of Judges
Kentucky suffers from weak financial disclosure requirements of its state Supreme Court justices, says a report released Wednesday.In its report, the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Public Integrity gave the state an "F" grade for its weak enforcement of existing financial disclosure requirements for top judges; an inability to discern conflicts of interests because the state does not require judges to submit the names of companies in which they hold a financial interest; and no disclosure requirement regarding gifts and reimbursements to judges.Out of a total 100 points, Kentucky scored a total of 15, and did not earn any points in the following areas of disclosure:
- Is the judge required to disclose his/her household income?
- Is the judge required to disclose investments (including real estate) for judge, spouse and dependent children?
- Is the judge required to disclose gifts and reimbursements given to the judge, spouse and dependent children?
- s the judge required to disclose liabilities of judge, spouse and dependent children?
The report also found strengths, however, namely that Supreme Court judges "who fail to file or who report fraudulent information risk losing their seat on the bench."The report highlighted the financial and real estate holdings of Supreme Court Justice Will T. Scott, which include "dozens of tracts of Kentucky real estate, many of which he leases to coal, oil and natural gas companies," and whose names he disclosed— unlike his colleagues.Scott told the Center in a phone interview that he would "welcome more robust financial disclosure requirements" to state law.
A request for comment from the Kentucky Administrative Office of the Courts has not been returned. Leigh Anne Hiatt, a spokeswoman for the Kentucky Administrative Office of the Courts, provided the following response: