Kentucky AFL-CIO in Melt-Down

The financial chaos of the Kentucky AFL-CIO was called “the worst” of any state operation for more than 25 years by the national AFL-CIO’s Laurence Gold. This after a Dec. 4 report by AFL-CIO hearing officer William George that said there is “no question” that the Ky. AFL-CIO has been “mismanaged for years,” and that the Ky. bosses allowed a “longstanding embezzlement scheme to operate.” George’s probe resulted from follows: 1) complaints about financial irregularities, 2) a Sep. 4 fire, that investigators determined was arson, that destroyed records at the Ky. AFL-CIO office, and 3) an Aug. 10 burglary where records were reported stolen. George’s report concluded that national monitors should remain in Ky. indefinitely.

George noted that state and federal criminal authorities have begun investigating the matter. The report focused on Morgan Bayless, the Ky. AFL-CIO’s ex-political director, and his late wife, Donna Bayless, the ex-bookkeeper for the Ky. AFL-CIO. Donna was found dead, shot in the head, 5 days after takeover of the Ky. office. Anderson County Coroner said Dec. 4 the cause of death appears to be a suicide, but he will call for an inquest.

George found that since Sep. 1995, Morgan & Donna Bayless received approximately $285,000 over their salaries. The report also raised questions about the lack of audits, misuse of credit cards, auto leases and the sale of  low-income housing company. [Courier-Journal 12/5/98]