Kentucky Democratic official gets 21 months for illegal contributions to daughter's Senate campaign

He has a history of ethics violations in the state.

Updated: July 17, 2020 - 1:16pm

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A longtime Kentucky Democratic has been sentenced to nearly two years in prison for having illegally contributed, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, funneled into his daughter's Senate campaign against Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell. 

Jerry Lundergan secretly poured more than $200,000 into to the 2014 campaign of daughter Alison Grimes, who was running to end McConnell's three-decade-plus hold on his Senate seat.

Grimes lost to McConnell, the Senate majority leader, who walked away with 56% of the vote in that race. 

The Justice Department on Thursday said in a news release that Lundergan received "21 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release" for his role in "orchestrating a multi-year scheme to funnel more than $200,000 in secret, unlawful corporate contributions" to his daughter's campaign. 

Lundergan, who was convicted in September of last year, used funds from his self-owned company "to pay for services provided by consultants and vendors" for Grimes' campaign, the Justice Department said. 

He "caused the issuance of a number of payments from [his company's] funds for services that included audio-video production, lighting, recorded telephone calls and campaign consulting, between July 2013 and December 2015," the press release continued. 

Along with a co-conspirator, Lundergan "concealed these activities from other officials associated with the campaign," the Justice Department also stated. "Their concealments caused the campaign unwittingly to file false reports with the FEC because the reports failed to disclose the source and amount of the corporate contributions."

Lundergan served three terms in the state House in the 1980s, including a stint as the chairman of the Kentucky Democratic Party. He ultimately resigned his seat amid an ethics scandal involving the improper use of his political influence to obtain a state contract for his catering company.

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