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Thrasher asks ethics board to determine Mathis’ true Mago ownership via trusts

Video of Mark Mathis’ appearance before the joint city-county Ethics Board.

By JIM BROOKS
Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Sunday, April 15,2018 — Don Thrasher, the Republican candidate for judge executive, has asked the joint city-county Ethics Board to take a second look at statements made by Mark Mathis in his response to an ethics complaint regarding Mathis’ participation in the planning commission’s recent decision on a rezoning request by the owners of the Woodlawn Springs golf course.

In a letter to the ethics board dated Friday, April 13, Thrasher alleges that Mathis’ statements about his ownership of Mago failed to include family trusts, including one in Mathis’ name and one in his father’s name.

DON THRASHER

Thrasher states that a copy of an “application for certificate of eligibility” he obtained via an Open Records request from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet raises questions about Mathis’ statement to the ethics board that he owns 18 percent of Mago Inc.

The statement lists Mago Inc.’s stockholders with more than 10 percent of its stock as Mark R. Mathis, the Mark R. Mathis 2014 Irrevocable Trust, and the Dinwiddie L. Mathis 2011 Irrevocable Trust.

In an irrevocable trust, the trustee of the trust holds legal title to the trust’s assets, while ownership of the trust’s assets are held by the trust’s beneficiaries.

If Mathis is a beneficiary or trustee of either trust, it could mean that he owns or controls more than the 18 percent of Mago as he told the ethics board, Thrasher alleges.

According to Thrasher’s letter, without information as to who controls either of the trusts and who their beneficiaries may be, there’s no way to determine if Mathis’ statement he owns 18 percent of Mago was a truthful statement.

Thrasher asked the ethics board to subpoena the KYTC application as well as the trust agreements for both irrevocable trusts in order to determine if Mathis has an “equitable ownership” interest in either, and if so, the percentage of ownership.

Thrasher also alleges that Mathis intentionally tried to mislead the Ethics Board by stating he was “not appearing with counsel” but then failed to mention that his daughter who was sitting with him is a licensed attorney in Kentucky as Mathis himself.

Mathis was not under oath during his appearance before the ethics board. His statements were made at the board’s preliminary hearing — a hearing that was required prior to the board’s determination that a violation of the county’s ethics ordinance may have occurred. The preliminary hearing gave Mathis an opportunity to respond to the allegations in the ethics complaint if he chose to do so.

The ethics board is not expected to make a determination regarding a possible ethics violation until its next meeting.

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