Late this afternoon the Rowan County, Kentucky government filed an official misconduct charge against anti-gay clerk Kim Davis. Lexington’s CBS affiliate reports:
The Rowan County Attorney’s Office said on Friday that it has referred to the Attorney General’s Office a charge of official misconduct against Davis. A release from the county attorneys office says, “Kentucky Bar Association rules of the Supreme Court of Kentucky prohibit the Rowan County Attorney’s Office from prosecuting Davis” because they are involved in current litigation with Davis. “Typically, the Attorney General’s office refers conflict cases to a prosecutor from another county,” the release says. The release also says Rowan County Government and the Rowan County Attorney’s Office cannot take any other action against Kim Davis. “Kentucky state government is the only entity that can move to have Kim Davis removed as Rowan County Clerk,” the release says. A spokeswoman for the Attorney General’s office told WKYT they are looking into the matter. The referral of charges comes after Davis refused to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple Thursday morning.
More from the Morehead News:
KRS 522.020 and KRS 522.030 deal with official misconduct in the first and second degree, respectively. “A public servant is guilty of official misconduct in the first degree when, with intent to obtain or confer a benefit or to injure another person or to deprive another person of a benefit, knowingly commits an act relating to his office which constitutes an unauthorized exercise of his official functions or refrains from performing a duty imposed upon him by law or clearly inherent in the nature of his office or violates any statute or lawfully adopted rule or regulation relating to his office,” according to KRS 522.020. Official misconduct in the first degree is a Class A misdemeanor and is punishable with imprisonment not to exceed 12 months and fines of $500. Official misconduct in the second degree is a Class B misdemeanor and carries a potential punishment of up to 90 days imprisonment and fines of $250. The charge must be tried in court before a designation of first or second degree is placed upon it.
It appears that the ball is now in the court of Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway, a Democrat who last year refused to defend the state against the marriage suit that ultimately ended up before the US Supreme Court. Following Conway’s refusal, Gov. Steve Beshear hired outside counsel. Conway is the 2015 Democratic gubernatorial nominee to succeed Beshear, who will be term-limited out of office this year.