Today, Secretary of State Trey Grayson announced an ongoing criminal investigation into misappropriation of funds by a state employee in the Records section of the Corporate Filings Division of the Secretary of State’s office. The office terminated the employee’s employment as a result of an internal investigation. The office is also working closely with the Kentucky State Police which is conducting the criminal investigation.
Secretary Grayson dismissed the employee for lack of good behavior and unsatisfactory performance of duties, including a failure to properly account for state funds and abuse of public trust.
The transactions in question concern cash payments made to the Office of the Secretary of State for apostilles or authentications. An apostille is an authenticated version of a legal document (such as birth certificates, death certificates, marriage certificates, grade transcripts and diplomas, adoption papers, and corporate documents) for use in other countries. Authentications (sometimes known as legalizations or incumbencies) also provide verification of a document’s authenticity and legal force.
On a number of occasions, the amount of cash accepted by the employee went unrecorded on the daily log and deposit. Further, cash transactions were not properly documented in the office’s accounting system.
“Upon my election, I promised the citizens of Kentucky that I would administer this office in an effective and honorable manner, while safeguarding the public’s trust in this office,” stated Secretary Grayson. “The actions uncovered by this investigation tarnished that trust. Today, I share each citizen’s disappointment; however, Kentuckians should be assured that my administration and the overwhelming majority of state employees are serving the Commonwealth honorably.”
Secretary Grayson sent a letter to Auditor Crit Luallen requesting an audit of the cash management procedures for the Records section of the Corporate Filings Division in the Secretary of State’s office.
Grayson added, “I also want to reassure constituents that while we have found payment transactions that were handled improperly, there is no evidence to date to suggest the integrity of the apostilles or authentications issued by the office have been compromised.”
If you transacted any business with the Secretary of State’s office and have any questions or concerns about possible impropriety, please contact Tracy Goff-Herman with the Office of the Secretary of State at (502) 564-3490.