The Associated Press
FRANKFORT - A state-funded corporation that promotes Kentucky-made wood products paid $145,000 to a politically connected consulting firm over about a year without a written contract or documentation of the firm's services.
The Kentucky Wood Products Competitiveness Corp. paid Goldsmith Ratcliff Shoop LLC - a consulting and lobbying firm with ties to Gov. Paul Patton - a retainer of $10,000 a month between November 2000 and January, the Courier-Journal reported Friday.
The arrangement was made even though the corporation had a contract with another consulting firm, the Commonwealth Group of Louisville, which was on a $3,500-a-month retainer.
Directors of the corporation asked the firm in August to document its work but were never provided documentation. The corporation formally ended the relationship in the fall.
Mark Kaser, former executive director of the corporation who had hired Goldsmith Ratcliff Shoop, said the firm performed significant work preparing applications for grants and handling public relations for some of the corporation's business ventures.
He said there was no written contract "because we did it on a month-by-month basis. I'm not sure why there wasn't. There should have been."
He said the corporation wanted to seek grants more aggressively and that he needed such expertise.
Frank Shoop, a partner in Goldsmith Ratcliff Shoop, is finance chairman of the Kentucky Democratic Party and was chief fund-raiser for Mr. Patton's gubernatorial campaigns.
He referred questions to partner Bennet Ratcliff.
"There was business development and communications work," Mr. Ratcliff said. "There was marketing and marketing strategy. ... And we were told that our compensation was provided from nongovernment funds."
CINERGY FIELD IMPLOSION
Stadium wired and ready to fall
Implosion viewing tips
Graphic: How it works
CINERGY CELEBRATION: Relive the greatest moments
Stadium builder must say goodbye
Demolition man has mixed emotions
CINERGY FIELD CELEBRATION
Relive the greatest moments at Cinergy Field, including last fall's Pete Rose Legends Game, the final Reds' game and the history-making performances since 1970.
TOP LOCAL HEADLINES
Portune to Bengals: Redo lease or I sue
Tuition savings plans in trouble
Jobless benefits run out
Called-up Guard leave wives, children, lives
Holiday cleanup begins
AROUND THE TRISTATE
Tristate A.M. Report
Real estate transfer tax won't go up
Faith Matters: Path helps fight fear of cancer
McNUTT: Post office focus of bicentennial
Former jail to serve new role
Students teach others: Science is fun
Overweight trooper embarrassed
Suspended students get more than a day of TV
Community wants Davis-Besse running
White Christmas brings big price tag
Verdict out on pretreating roads with brine solution
New Ky. plates have sunny disposition
Florence to make $1M bond claim
Basketball game may overshadow political nomination
State-funded group criticized for irregularities
Hatfields, McCoys take feud to court
5 students indicted in sex case
Cherokee center asks Indian elders to speak
Indiana to list problem gamblers
Newspaper makes it to doorstep - 5 years late