Bevin Lashes Out At Reporters As Officials Inspect His Mansion

Aug 1, 2017

Gov. Matt Bevin
Credit J. Tyler Franklin

As Gov. Matt Bevin’s mansion was inspected Tuesday by a board that will determine how much it’s worth, the governor lashed out on Twitter at reporters covering the meeting.

The value of Bevin’s home, located in the outskirts of Louisville, has been scrutinized in recent months after the Courier-Journal first reported he paid significantly less than the official estimate of the property’s value for the mansion and surrounding 10 acres.

Bevin bought the home for $1.6 million from Neil Ramsey, an investment manager and political donor whom the governor appointed to the Kentucky Retirement Systems board of trustees.

The Jefferson County Property Valuation Administrator says that the house and surrounding 19 acres — which was carved up for Bevin’s purchase — was worth $2.97 million. The PVA says the home on its own is worth $2.13 million.

Bevin and Ramsey have appealed the calculation to the Jefferson County Board of Assessment Adjustment, a three-member board which conducted an on-site inspection of the house and property on Tuesday.

Before the inspection, Bevin fired off a salvo of Tweets directed at reporters waiting outside his property.

The Courier-Journal and WAVE3-TV responded to Bevin in articles — neither of the news organizations were operating drones near the governor’s house, but WDRB-TV was.

WDRB News Director Barry Fulmer said the drone was flown in accordance with FAA rules “to cover news happening at your home” and that there was no footage of Bevin’s children.

Bevin has repeatedly targeted Courier-Journal reporter Tom Loftus, who first wrote about the governor’s apparent sweetheart deal on the mansion purchase.

During an appeals hearing last month, an attorney for Bevin and Ramsey argued that county officials overestimated the value of the governor’s home, saying that the historic mansion is water damaged and in disrepair.

John May, a former Jefferson County PVA hired by Bevin’s team, estimated the house and property were worth only $1.39 million.

The Jefferson County Board of Assessment Adjustment will reconvene later this week to decide whether to change the county’s estimate of the house and property’s value.