On February 5, 2019, MPM attorney Tom Coffey’s successful representation of Ryan Green at trial – a complete acquittal of Mr. Green’s ethics charges – was finalized.
Mr. Green faithfully served the Commonwealth of Kentucky as the Executive Director of the Office of Budget and Administration of the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. In late 2015, Mr. Green facilitated a transaction of surplus surcharge funds that saved Kentucky businesses more than $150 million in federal taxes and more importantly, prevented a potential spiral of employee layoffs throughout the state.
Inexplicably, the Kentucky Executive Branch Ethics Commission investigated the transaction and shockingly charged Mr. Green for somehow derogating the state, even though his actions benefitted the state, were at the direction of the Secretary of the Cabinet and were even reviewed by legal counsel prior to his carrying them out.
After Mr. Green was charged, the Ethics Commission offered Mr. Green numerous plea deals which Mr. Coffey and Mr. Green rejected each time.
Mr. Coffey took the case to trial on Mr. Green’s behalf in 2018. At the trial, the Judge found, “Clearly, Mr. Green was carrying out a decision made by the Secretary, as well as other individuals who had authority to authorize [the transaction]” and therefore, “it was clearly not unethical.” Indeed, the Judge chastised the Ethics Commission, asserting, “In this case, the Commission focused too much of its attention on the fact that a disgruntled employee was of the opinion that she, and no other, had the authority to manage the surcharge funds.” The Judge submitted his final conclusion that the charges against Mr. Green be dismissed.
The Ethics Commission chose not to appeal the Judge’s ruling and begrudgingly was forced to agree with his conclusion that the case be dismissed. In fact, the Ethics Commission was even compelled to admit that it had not done a thorough investigation before charging Mr. Green.
Consequently, the final dismissal was rendered on February 5, 2019.