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Cameron follows recommendation of state legislators, asks FBI to investigate Bevin pardons

NKyTribune staff

Senate Minority Leader Morgan McGarvey, D-Louisville and State Rep. Chris Harris, D-Forest Hills, received confirmation that Attorney General Daniel Cameron has made a formal request for an investigation by the FBI, of former Governor Matt Bevin’s pardons (Matt Bevin under bipartisan and harsh criticism for long list of ‘extreme’ pardons before leaving office).

McGarvey, left, and Harris

Among those pardoned was Micah Schoettle, a Kenton County man, arrested in 2016 on several charges, including Rape in the First Degree, Sexual Abuse in the First Degree, and Sodomy in the First Degree. Schoettle was convicted in May of this year and, in July, was sentenced to 23 years in prison.

Bevin also commuted the death sentence of Gregory Wilson to life in prison. In 1987, Wilson was convicted of the kidnapping, rape and murder, in the death of Deborah Pooley of Covington.

Kenton County Commonwealth’s Attorney Rob Sanders was among those highly critical of Bevin’s actions.

“It’s mind-boggling how any governor could be this irresponsible, it’s an abomination of the criminal justice system” Sanders said. “It’s a sad day for Kentucky, not just in the Micah Schoettle case, but in a number of different rape cases, child molesting cases, murder cases, where the victims have all been done a grave injustice.”

McGarvey and Harris sent the following letter to then-Attorney General-elect Cameron on December 13 requesting the investigation.

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Attorney General Cameron responded to the request, in a letter dated December 30, indicating he has sent a formal request to the FBI asking for an investigation into the matter.

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The following is a joint statement from Sen. McGarvey and Rep. Harris:


“We want to thank Attorney General Cameron for formally requesting that the FBI investigate former Governor Matt Bevin’s recent pardons.  As we wrote in our letter to the Attorney General last month, a governor may have broad pardoning powers, but there must be further scrutiny by law enforcement when there is an appearance of impropriety or corruption.  Kentuckians deserve to know if the pardon of Patrick Baker, whose family raised tens of thousands of dollars for Gov. Bevin in 2018, was granted improperly.  We believe strongly that this and potentially other pardons should be investigated impartially, and are pleased that the Attorney General agrees and has asked the FBI to make sure that happens.”

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