Jack Conway Involved in Investigation Cover-up

Courier-Journal.com

A Jefferson County prosecutor was tipped off by Louisville narcotics detectives twice in the past two years that he was under investigation for possible drug use or trafficking, according to police records obtained by The Courier-Journal.

When investigators learned of the leaks and interrogated the two detectives and the prosecutor last March, all three initially gave false or misleading statements about what happened, those records show. The statements of Matthew C. Conway, the prosecutor, were made under oath.

Details of the compromised investigations are contained in nearly 700 pages of documents obtained from Louisville Metro Police under the state open-records law.

Conway, the brother of Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway, had recently resigned from the Jefferson County attorney’s office to enter private practice when he learned of the first investigation in early 2008.

At the time of the second leak, in January of this year, Conway was an assistant commonwealth’s attorney, a position he still holds.

Ronald Russ and Scott Wilson, the two detectives accused of the leaks to Matthew Conway, have been placed in administrative jobs pending the outcome of an internal police inquiry into possible policy violations. Wilson told Conway of the first investigation, and Russ told him of the second one. The two investigations were prompted by separate allegations.

After a criminal investigation by police, the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office decided in August that no charges would be filed against Conway, Russ, Wilson or a third narcotics detective, Chauncey Carthan, who was not involved in the leaks but was overheard discussing the second investigation in a restaurant last March.

Carthan’s conversation was reported to Jack Conway, a candidate for the U.S. Senate, by a person supporting him. The brothers subsequently conferred with an attorney about the investigation of Matthew Conway, according to the investigative file.

The lawyer, Bart Adams of Louisville, then met with Police Chief Robert White to discuss Carthan’s conduct, according to the records.

Jack Conway’s office said in an e-mail to the newspaper Thursday that his only involvement was to advise his brother to obtain legal counsel.

White declined to discuss the case, citing the pending police inquiry.

Adams declined to comment in detail, saying: “After the election, I’ll talk to you about anything. I’ve represented Matt from the beginning. The allegations were baseless. I can’t believe police went as far as they did.”

Neither drug investigation resulted in any charges against Matthew Conway. The three officers all were involved in investigations of him when the leaks occurred.

Conway, 34, a graduate of Emory University and the University of Louisville law school, declined to be interviewed by The Courier-Journal.

But the police file shows that in response to questions by investigators last March, he said of the drug-related allegations: “It’s insane. I don’t need to traffic drugs. I have money. I have plenty. I work as a prosecutor because I like it.”

Russ, Wilson and Carthan — who also is named in the department’s pending administrative inquiry but has remained in his regular job — declined through a police department spokeswoman to answer questions. Their attorneys also refused to comment.

Commonwealth’s Attorney David Stengel said in an interview earlier this week that he had reviewed all of the evidence gathered by police and was convinced that Conway was neither a drug user nor trafficker.

Stengel said he also concluded that Conway had done nothing wrong except to make a “well-intended but boneheaded statement” when he denied to police that he had been tipped off by Russ to the second drug investigation.

Stengel said he decided not to discipline Conway for being dishonest because “he went back and corrected that immediately.” However, records show that Conway actually offered his corrected account four days later, and after another witness advised him that he had told investigators a different story.

Conway told investigators he had lied to protect Russ, because “I just didn’t wanna see him lose his job over this. And, it was foolish and I’m sorry, it is wrong, and, you know, I’m paying for it now,” the records show.

David Harris, a professor of law at the University of Pittsburgh who writes and teaches about police behavior and law enforcement, said Stengel let Conway off too easily.

“To admit you lied in an investigation where you were the subject, and it involved law-enforcement conduct, I find that very troubling,” Harris said, adding that he found it “mysterious that this wouldn’t trouble” Stengel.

Lewis Katz, a professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Law, and a criminal-justice authority, agreed. Katz also said Conway’s false statements to investigators “absolutely” have impugned his integrity and, therefore, his ability to represent the state in court.

“He is hopelessly compromised,” Katz said.

The first investigation

In early 2008, Louisville police received information that Matthew Conway might be involved with illegal drugs, prompting Detective Wilson to tell Louisville attorney Scott Roby, who in turn notified Conway, the records show.

Wilson told department investigators on March 25 that he had informed Roby of the complaint against Conway because the two attorneys knew each other.

“I was asking him, ‘man, do you think this is true?’ ” Wilson said. Roby, who was not interviewed by police, declined to comment when contacted by The Courier-Journal.

Conway and Wilson, both of whom attended St. Xavier High School at about the same time and are longtime acquaintances, they told investigators.

After first evading the question, Wilson eventually acknowledged to the investigators that he allowed Conway to read the complaint accusing him of drug involvement.

Wilson also acknowledged that, after telling Conway he wanted to search his home, he waited two days to conduct the search, rather than “that day or the following day,” as he initially told investigators. Nothing incriminating was found.

Upon hearing Wilson’s admission about his handling of the case, Sgt. Rick Polin of the department’s Public Integrity Unit told him: “That’s a problem, Scott. It’s the same, in my opinion, as, as telling him, ‘hey, you know, watch your back, there’s a drug complaint on you.’ It’s kinda like, ‘clean your —-, I’ll be over there in two days.’”

When Wilson finally conducted the search, Polin said, “it stands to reason there was nothin’ there.”

Wilson said he notified Conway before searching his home because he was skeptical of the allegations. “It just seemed like it (the complaint) was a BS … domestic kind of issue,”

Conway was involved in a divorce in late 2007 and early 2008. Someone answering the telephone at a number listed for his former wife hung up when a reporter called. She did not respond to subsequent messages.

The second investigation

During a March 10 interview with investigators, Detective Russ initially denied being the source of the second leak to Matt Conway. But roughly 30 minutes after the questioning ended, Russ returned and acknowledged that he warned Conway when he encountered him in the courthouse in January:

“Matt, whatever you’re doing, you need to quit, ’cause if you don’t, you’re gonna get caught.’ And I said, ‘if you ain’t doing nothing, you don’t have nothing to worry about,’ ” according to the records.

Russ told the investigators that he had no idea why he made the disclosure to Conway, adding: “I’m sure that my working in narcotics is probably over. I just hope that my career’s not over.”

About a week before Russ met with investigators, Jack Conway received a telephone call from a supporter, businessman Charles Alexander. According to the records, he told Conway that he had been in a downtown restaurant where he heard Detective Carthan discussing the drug investigation involving Matthew Conway.

The records reflect varying accounts of what Carthan allegedly said. He told police investigators that while talking with a friend at the restaurant about the drug inquiry, he merely mentioned his investigation and said he had heard “a lot of incriminating things” about Matthew Conway.

Carthan told the investigators that he considered the investigation closed because it had already been compromised when Russ told Conway he was being investigated.

But Alexander told police that Carthan overheard him chatting with an acquaintance about fund-raising for Jack Conway, who was locked in a close primary-election campaign with Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo for the Senate.

Alexander said Carthan told them not to “waste their money” on Jack Conway, “that he had a case on Conway’s brother and that he was ‘dirty’ (corrupt),” according to the records. Alexander declined to discuss the matter with the newspaper.

Alexander then called Jack Conway, who in turn called his brother and said they needed to meet the following day, according to the records.

Adams, the attorney, also attended the meeting, at Jack Conway’s home, and it was decided that he would “report” Carthan to Chief White, the records show. Adams went to see White on the morning of March 5.

The substance of their conversation could not be determined. Police department spokeswoman Carey Klain said White would not discuss the meeting with Adams, or any related matters, while the department’s internal investigation is pending.

Adams declined to comment on the meeting.

Adams and Jack Conway had an interest in the Matthew Conway investigation before the three men met, the records show.

When police interviewed Russ on March 10, he said Adams had called him two or three weeks earlier and told him that Jack Conway wanted to know if police were working on a case involving his brother. Russ said he replied to Adams he couldn’t discuss the matter.

After that conversation, Russ said, Adams called him back two or three more times, saying, “Don’t worry about it, everything’s OK.”

Asked by investigators what he thought Adams meant, Russ said he assumed people were asking the Conways what was going on. Russ said he told Adams that if police learned he had tipped off Matthew Conway, “I’m gonna lose my job, my career, everything.”

Russ said Adams replied: “Oh, you’re fine, don’t worry about it. Everything’s good, don’t worry about it.”

Before The Courier-Journal could ask Adams about his alleged remarks to Russ, he repeated that he had no comment and hung up.

Although he was asked to discuss his knowledge of the investigation involving his brother and the meeting with Adams, Jack Conway’s statement did not address either issue.

When the newspaper renewed its request for elaboration, Allison Gardner Martin, communications director for the attorney general’s office, said Conway “does not deny” that Adams met with him and his brother. But she declined to address what Conway knew about the decision to have Adams visit White.

In the U.S., the Establishment is on the Run

The waking of the United States of America has begun.  All over the country, incumbents traditionally in bed with corporations have been voted out of office again and again and again.  Kentucky, Florida, Pennsylvania and other states saw the break of dawn with different eyes as grassroots supported candidates took over senate seats from Establishment candidates from both the Republican and Democratic parties.  While only a few years ago people simply could not see through the smoke screen called partisan politics, it took many Americans only six months to realize that Obama was just another disappointment.  Therefore, many of the President’s allies are now being booted out of office.  The massive awakening has started.  May this awakening serve as an example for more Americans to keep on fighting for liberty and freedom.  May this movement infect patriots in other countries so they also defeat the tyranny of the Establishment, the Globalists and their conquest agenda.

Politico

Rand Paul, the first-time candidate for elective office who has emerged as a symbol of the national tea party’s clout in Republican politics, appears to have clinched the GOP’s nomination for this state’s open Senate seat – in a victory certain to jolt the political order in Kentucky and across the country.

The 47-year-old Bowling Green ophthalmologist – who until last year was best known for being the son of Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), whose staunch libertarian views have spawned a national grassroots following – knocked off Trey Grayson, the Kentucky secretary of state who had been the favorite of this state’s political heavyweights, most notably Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

“I have a message, a message from the tea party, a message that is loud and clear and does not mince words: We have come to take our government back,” Paul, with his parents and the rest of his family by his side, declared to roaring supporters at a posh country club here in his hometown.

With his attention-grabbing views railing on Washington and its ballooning budget deficits, the fire-breathing Paul successfully connected with this state’s furious Republican primary voters, something that the more subdued Grayson was unable to accomplish in the fight to replace the retiring two-term Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.).

“The electorate is pissed,” said Mike Shea, a long-time political adviser to McConnell. “Rand did a really good job of tapping into those themes and tapping into that anger. Trey is a nice guy, but in his commercials and everything else, he seemed completely unable to generate any kind of dialogue to indicate he was tapping into that. If you meet him, he didn’t seem like he was angry.”

With 89 percent of the precincts reporting, Paul appeared poised to seize a huge victory – leading Grayson by 59 percent to 35 percent of the vote. The Associated Press projected that Paul would win the race.

A packed crowd here at the Bowling Green Country Club let out a loud cheer when the AP projected the race for Paul, who was expected to address some 100 activists here later Tuesday.

But many of the Paul supporters had expected nothing less than resounding victory.

“I kind of expected it actually,” said Brent Young, a 45-year-old tea party activist who works with a local firm researching swine production. “I’ve really been a big supporter of his dad, and I really hope he can be elected in November. Time will tell but we really do think he’s a different kind of politician – and hopefully send a message to the GOP that we want something different.”

Paul is expected to face either Lt. Gov Daniel Mongiardo or state Attorney General Jack Conway, who are in the middle of a neck-and-neck battle for the Democratic nomination. Conway’s views are more in line with the Democratic base’s positions, and he is seen by national Democrats as a safer choice. But Mongiardo is seen as more unpredictable on the campaign trail, though his conservative views that break with the White House could appeal to rural and right-leaning voters. Conway is leading the race in early returns.

While polls showed Paul building a comfortable lead in the final weeks of the primary campaign, his win is still poised to send a shockwave threw the Republican establishment. It’s the first clear statewide victory by the disparate national tea party movement, which propelled his victory based on his calls for radical reforms to Washington, including imposing term limits on senators, mandating Congress be more sensitive to its constitutional prerogatives, constitutionally mandate Congress to balance its budget and force all legislation to directly apply to lawmakers. Absent from Paul’s campaign was much focus on socially conservative and national security views that have generated enthusiasm among tea party supporters in other states.

Conway was leading the race by just two percentage points with 92 percent of the precincts reporting.

“It’s not a real good time for any individual to be in a political position,” Republican state Sen. Carroll Gibson said simply.

Tuesday’s voting turnout appeared lighter than usual in much of the state, due to inclement weather and a lack of a presidential contest this midterm season. The day was colored by allegations from the Grayson camp that Paul’s supporters had been intimidating voters outside polling stations and had improperly sought to verify that voting machines were properly being used, allegations Paul firmly rejected.

Paul appears to have his work cut out for him uniting a divided GOP electorate here. A Public Policy Pollingmemo issued Tuesday found that 53 percent of likely Grayson voters had an unfavorable view of Paul, and 43 percent said firmly they would not vote for the tea party-favorite.

In his victory speech Tuesday night, Paul said nothing about Grayson and declined to extend an olive branch to his opponent’s supporters. Instead, he launched a fierce attack on President Barack Obama, accusing him of “apologizing” to the dictators and running the country towards socialism.

Beyond that, he’ll have to face a newly energized Democratic Party, which views his victory as a bright spot in an otherwise dim election year since it puts the Republican-held seat immediately in play. Already, Democrats are planning to pounce on a number of Paul’s more politically controversial views, including his calls to eliminate the Education Department, severely cut agriculture subsidies to farmers here and his advocacy for increasing the age for Social Security eligibility.

“Sometimes people run primaries different than they run general elections,” Sen. John Cornyn, chairman of theNational Republican Senatorial Committee, told POLITICO when asked if he were concerned that Paul’s views would make him unelectable in a general election. “We’ll see what happens.”

But Paul said he will not “weave and dodge” from the tea party’s message, and he insisted that he will not moderate in the general election.

Grayson, 38, had been viewed as a rising star in the state’s Republican Party. Young, telegenic and seen as a pragmatic-minded conservative, he is one of only five living Republicans to win statewide here, where a majority of voters are either Democratic or independent. With the quiet backing of McConnell for months, Grayson was seen as the heir apparent to Bunning’s seat.

But in the final hours of the campaign that slipped away from him, Grayson’s allies began looking back at what went wrong – and the explanations ranged from failing to account for Paul’s rise early enough, a subpar advertising campaign and a failure to effectively communicate fiscal views to the electorate.

“It seemed to me that he got off to a slow start,” said state Sen. Tom Jensen, a Republican who backed Grayson. “We never really picked up the momentum. It seemed like Rand Paul had the momentum from the beginning and just didn’t lose it. They ran a good campaign.”

And several people here said Grayson failed to push back against the notion that he was the establishment choice, a politically toxic label this election year that he could have more forcefully sought to affix to his opponent.

“He accepted the mantle of being the ‘Washington D.C.’ candidate despite Paul’s obvious ties to his father, and he ceded ground on key fiscal arguments,” said Scott Jennings, a Republican strategist based in Louisville. “Grayson wanted this primary to be about national security because that’s where they thought they had the best opposition research. But this race was about spending and fiscal issues from the beginning, and Grayson’s lack of focus on that cost him early momentum which he never regained.”

As late as Monday, Grayson had complained that he couldn’t get traction on what he considered a key Paul gaffe: that a nuclear-free Iran wouldn’t be detrimental to national security. Paul had responded with a television ad calling Iran a threat, and the tit-for-tat never quite resonated with voters.

“We ran an ad and a quote from him saying that – I don’t know what else we could have done,” Grayson said. “On an issues discussion level, I’m not sure what more we could have done.”

In addition, Paul has positions that stray from the conservative line, including his hesitation over building a fence along the southern border with Mexico and for endorsing a federal ban on same-sex marriage; such positions didn’t seem to resonate with GOP primary voters in an election-year with many concerned about the budget deficit.

And Paul seemed to squash any momentum that Grayson seemed to muster. Last month, for instance, Bunning – who has a strong base of support in the conservative northern part of the state – grabbed headlines when he endorsed Paul, just a day after a new poll found the race tightening.

“I was very surprised because he had said to me straight up that he was going to stay out of the race,” Grayson told POLITICO about Bunning’s decision. “I was surprised. Based upon the things he said to me, I couldn’t reconcile that with what his actions were a month or so ago.”

But Paul benefitted greatly from his name identification as result of his father’s quixotic presidential run for the 2008 GOP nomination that spawned a buoyant band of libertarian followers. And he seemed to be doing something Grayson did not: speak directly to the mood of Republican primary voters angry at President Barack Obama’s agenda – and that anger seems to have cost Grayson his bid for the nomination.

“Obama is the best thing to happen the Republicans, but also the worst thing to happen to some Republican [politicians],” said Todd Inman, a Republican Party activist who supported Grayson.

But Paul credited a “nationwide movement” that helped him win his primary.
“What I say to Washington is, ‘Watch out, here we come.”