The Governor of Kentucky is lashing out at local news broadcasters after one flew a drone over his multi-million dollar mansion which critics say he purchased in a ‘sweetheart’ property deal.
In March, Governor Matt Bevin purchased a 150-year-old restored mansion and 10 acres of land in Anchorage, Jefferson County for an estimated $1.6 million from Neil Ramsey, a friend and Bevin campaign donor, according to the Courier-Journal.
Bevin decided to buy the home after determining that the 25-room, 18,428-square foot Governor’s mansion in Frankfort was difficult to secure and not suitable for his large family. Bevin has a wife and nine grade-school children.
Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin lashed out at the media on Tuesday after filming his private home with a drone (Pictured: Kentucky Governor’s private residence)
The purchase came less than a year after Ramsey was appointed by the Governor to the board of Kentucky Retirement Systems.
In April, one month after buying the home and surrounding land, appraisers listed Bevin’s new property at $2.9 million.
That figure prompted some critics to question whether Bevin benefited from his relationship from Ramsey, with allegations of a ‘sweetheart deal’ emerging.
Bevin denied any impropriety in the affair, saying that the land was ‘grossly overvalued.’
In an attempt to settle the dispute, Bevin invited all three-members of Jefferson County Board of Assessment Appeals to inspect the property on Tuesday.
Bevin’s has been embroiled in a real-estate controversy since April, with critics accusing him of favoritism (Pictured: Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin)
Bevin has decided not to live at the Kentucky Governor’s Mansion (pictured) – because he claims it does not cater to his family’s needs
Critics say that Bevin’s property was acquired suspiciously from a close associate and campaign donor (Pictured:Kentucky’s Governor Mansion)
Huge brood: Matt Bevin had six children with his wife Glenna but sadly their eldest daughter died aged 17 in 2003. In 2012 the Bevin’s adopted four children aged 2-10 from Ethiopia
Media outlets expected to attend the evaluation, arguing that the presence of all three board-members at the Governor’s home constituted an open-meeting.
Bevin, however, disagreed and closed the evaluation to all reporters and media outlets, prompting objections from news organizations.
State troopers were also brought in to block journalist from coming close to Bevin’s estate, according TV station WDRB.
Refusing to be deterred, WDRB then sent a drone to film over the property, prompting a swift rebuke from the Governor over social media.
‘Drones again flying directly over and around my home filming my children… @wave3news @courierjournal #PeepingTom Loftus,’ Bevin stated on Twitter.
Bevin invited county appraisers back onto his property this week to re-evaluate the estate’s worth
Media outlets demanded to be present for the meeting, arguing that all members of Jefferson County Board of Assessment Appeals were present, constituting an open-meeting
Bevin disagreed and barred anyone from attending the evaluation, even bringing state troopers to block reporters from entering the estate
‘At what point does the perverse fascination by @wave3news, @courierjournal… with my home & #PeepingTom Loftus family border on stalking?’ the Governor wrote two minutes later.
Tom Loftus is a reporter with the Courier-Journal covering the story on Bevin’s new home.
About two-hours later, Bevin tweeted that Loftus ‘just came to my home again with three attorneys demanding to be let in…’
In response to the Governor, the Courier-Journal said it ‘does not own or operate drones’ and that ‘it is a false association to include the Courier-Journal in that tweet.’
Bill Shory, news director for WAVE3, also denied the Governor’s accusations.
‘For the record, Governor, WAVE 3 News has never flown our drone over your house. Today or at any time in the past.’
WDRB news director Barry Fulmer later took responsibility for the drone, but denied that he filmed any children at the Governor’s home.
‘WDRB was flying a drone in accordance to the FAA rules to cover news happening at your home. There is NO video of children,’ Fulmer tweeted.
The Jefferson County Board of Assessment Appeals has yet to release their evaluation on Bevin’s property.
A local broadcaster, undeterred, sent a drone to film over the property in Anchorage, Kentucky
The action invoked a stern rebuke from Governor Bevin, which he described as perverse