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Father of KY Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes Indicted in Campaign Finance Conspiracy



On Friday, a federal grand jury in Lexington indicted longtime Kentucky Democratic operatives Gerald Lundergan and Dale Emmons for allegedly making illegal contributions to the U.S. Senate campaign of Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes in 2014 and trying to cover them up afterward.

Investigators found that both Lundergan and Emmons “willingly and knowingly” made corporate contributions of more than $25,000 to Grimes’ campaign then worked to cover up the contributions.

Lundergan, 71, was indicted on 10 counts, and Emmons, 66, was indicted on six counts.

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A federal grand jury in Lexington returned an indictment charging Lundergan with one count of making corporate campaign contributions, one count of conspiracy, four counts of causing the submission of false statements to the FEC, and four counts of causing the falsification of documents with the intent to obstruct and impede a matter within the FEC’s jurisdiction. 

The indictment charges Emmons with one count of making corporate campaign contributions, one count of conspiracy, two counts of causing the submission of false statements, and two counts of causing the falsification of documents with the intent to obstruct and impede.

According to a Justice Department release, “the indictment alleges that Lundergan used the funds of S.R. Holding Company Inc. … , a company he owned, to pay for services provided by consultants and vendors to a campaign for U.S. Senate in the 2014 election cycle.” The release states the candidate in question as being a member of Lundergan’s family.

Read the full Justice Department release here:

The indictment alleges that Lundergan and another employee with S.R. Holding issued several payments from S.R. Holding funds for services that included lighting, audio-video production, recorded telephone calls and campaign consulting between July 2013 and December 2015.

It also alleges that Emmons provided political consulting to the campaign, billing Lundergan and S.R. Holding instead of the campaign, and it was paid with corporate funds rather than campaign funds. When vendors billed Emmon’ business for campaign services, he was allegedly being reimbursed by Lundergan and not the campaign.

The payments that were referenced in the indictment allegedly totaled $194,270.39 over time, according to the Justice Department news release. Of that, $119,145.45 was paid by S.R. Holding to Emmons and his company for services provided to the campaign. It’s also alleged that Emmons used his company to pay $38,603.80 to vendors and a campaign worker for the recorded calls and other campaign-related expenses. (See above)

The indictment says the campaign unwittingly filed false reports with the Federal Elections Commission because they were unaware of any payments.

J.Guthrie True, Lundergan’s attorney, denied the allegations made against his client.

“The coordinated campaign efforts raised more than $25 million from thousands of Kentuckians and supporters across the nation,” True said. “The campaign didn’t need or seek any extra help from Jerry Lundergan or his family-run business. The government’s allegations are misguided, and the evidence will confirm that Jerry Lundergan is innocent of all charges.”

The indictments raise serious questions about the political future of Lundergan’s daughter, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, who is considering a run for either governor or attorney general in 2019.

In a statement posted on Facebook Friday, Lundergan Grimes said she believes her father will be “vindicated.”

“Today, the Department of Justice announced charges against my father stemming from my 2014 campaign for the United States Senate.

These allegations started as a result of a politically motivated complaint filed against my campaign nearly five years ago. That complaint was already investigated and completely dismissed by the bipartisan Federal Election Commission.

I love my father, and I have faith in the judgment and fairness of the people of Kentucky, and believe when all of the facts are in, my father will be vindicated.

Because this matter is in the courtroom and not the world of politics, I have no further comment,”-the statement read

A spokesman for the Republican Party of Kentucky, Tres Watson made the following statement on Friday in regards to Secretary Grimes: “Between this week’s revelations at the State Board of Elections and today’s indictment, it is clear Secretary Grimes has absolutely no regard for the laws governing our elections that she was elected to uphold.”

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