Official Whose Daughter Challenged McConnell Sentenced to Jail Time for Illegal Contributions

July 17, 2020 Updated: July 17, 2020

The father of Kentucky’s former secretary of state was sentenced to 21 months in prison for making illegal contributions to the campaign of his daughter, Alison Lundergan Grimes.

Grimes, a Democrat, challenged Sen. Mitch McConnell in the 2014 election.

Gerald “Jerry” Lundergan, 73, the father of Grimes, was convicted last year along with another man of using more than $206,670 of corporate funds to make contributions to the campaign of his daughter.

Lundergan used funds from a company he owned to pay for consultants and vendors for his daughter’s campaign.

The men also tried concealing the illegal contributions from the Federal Election Commission (FEC).

Lundergan was convicted of one count of conspiracy, one count of making corporate campaign contributions, four counts of causing the submission of false statements to the FEC, and four counts of causing the falsification of documents with the intent to obstruct and impede a matter within the FEC’s jurisdiction.

Lundergan was sentenced this week to 21 months in jail followed by two years of supervised release, the Department of Justice announced. He was also fined $150,000.

“This case should underscore the fundamental principle that breaking the law has consequences,” Robert Duncan Jr., U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, said in a statement.

“These are important laws that regulate the integrity of our elections. A jury convicted them, and the Court has now sentenced them for their crimes.”

Epoch Times Photo
Alison Lundergan Grimes at ‘The Obama Legacy’ panel during Politicon at Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, Calif., on July 29, 2017. (Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images for Politicon)

Robert Brown, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Louisville Field Office, added: “Kentuckians place a great deal of trust in the political process. Regardless of the perpetrator’s position or status, when that trust is broken by corrupt individuals, law enforcement has a duty to protect the people’s interests. Today’s sentence demonstrates that no one is above the law and we will rigorously pursue anyone who tries to undermine the strength of our democracy.”

U.S. District Judge Gregory F. Van Tatenhove, who sentenced Lundergan, also gave Dale Emmons, the second man convicted in the scheme, three years probation and a $50,000 fine.

Lundergan is a former state Democratic representative. He was at one time the chairman of the Kentucky Democratic Party.

J. Guthrie True, Lundergan’s lawyer, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. A request sent to Grimes’s campaign bounced back.

Speaking to reporters in 2018, True questioned the timing of the charges. “The evidence in this case is going to show that Jerry Lundergan and Dale Emmons are not guilty of these charges,” he said.

Grimes ended up losing by 15 percentage points to Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), the Senate majority leader.

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