FRANKFORT, Ky. - After growing scrutiny over use of the Kentucky state plane, Gov. Matt Bevin has released a log of travel on the airplane.
The log lists the purposes of flights on the state owned plane from December 2015 through August 2019.
Bevin says he is going above and beyond what other governors have released in regards to travel.
“Since the start of our administration, we have been 100 percent committed to financial integrity and to ensuring that we are good stewards of taxpayer resources,” said Gov. Bevin in a statement. “This was, unfortunately, not the case under previous governors. Although it has not been required, or even asked, of previous administrations, we are very happy to release documentation showing the purpose of official travel so that taxpayers can have full confidence that state resources are supporting official travel to further economic development, business expansion, attracting tourism, and other key initiatives undertaken by our administration. Taxpayers deserve nothing less from any of their elected officials.”
This comes after several news articles in the Courier-Journal and Herald Leader documented use of the state plane for out of state trips, at first the Bevin Administration did not disclose the purpose of the plane travel. Bevin says the scrutiny by the media over his travel show “journalistic double standards and misinformation” by the newspapers who did not challenge prior open records requests denials for previous governor’s schedules.
The release says Bevin’s use of the state plane is in the bounds of law and does not require disclosure of the purpose of the plan, and refutes claims of secret flights.
The log will be updated monthly according to the Bevin Administration.
Some questions still remain however, on August 28, the Governor took the plane to Alabama to attend the Tennessee-Tombigee Waterway Conference as documented by the log, however flight records show the plane did not leave from Alabama and head back to Kentucky rather it went to Miami for several hours before heading back to Kentucky. The purpose of the trip to Miami is not released in the log.
The Kentucky Democratic Party is reacting to the release of the log they are classifying as incomplete.
“This is our plane and we deserve straight forward answers about where he is flying it and why, including all personal and political travel,” said Marisa McNee with the Kentucky Democratic Party in a statement. “This is just one more example of the arrogance and secrecy that has been a regular feature of Matt Bevin’s administration.”