Ethics Panel Accuses Former Ex-Tourism Chief Of Misusing Funds

May 15, 2012

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- The Executive Branch Ethics Commission is alleging that former Tourism Commissioner Mike Cooper misused state resources for his own financial gain.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that the ethics panel also alleged Monday that Cooper failed to follow personnel rules for travel expenses, charged personal items to a state-issued credit card and conducted personal business while on approved 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 in June 2011 during an unauthorized trip to London, England.

The charges released Monday are based on an initial investigation that was begun in December.

Cooper could not be reached for comment. He has 20 days to respond to the charges.