- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 29, 2014

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - A state representative was indicted on two counts of violating state campaign finance laws for accepting $10,000 from a company and illegally reimbursing himself $6,000 from his campaign account, the state attorney general announced Tuesday.

Forest “Ben” Waide, 51, was accused of accepting $10,000 in campaign contributions from Liberty Rehabilitation, where he is a partner. State law bars candidates from knowingly accepting contributions from corporations.

Waide is also charged with reimbursing himself $6,000 from his campaign account for expenses he did not incur, Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway said. Waide, a Republican, is not running for re-election.

Attempts to reach Waide for comment were unsuccessful.

“The charges are only accusations, and Rep. Waide is presumed innocent until proven guilty,” House Republican Floor Leader Jeff Hoover said in a news release.

Waide’s indictment will not affect the control of the state House of Representatives, where Democrats have a five-seat majority over the Republicans. Waide did not file for re-election after being drawn out of his district during the redistricting process.

The indictment could impact who controls Hopkins County government. Waide is challenging Democrat Donald Carroll for Hopkins County judge executive in November. An indictment does not mean Waide will be removed from the ballot because he has not been convicted.

Conway began investigating Waide after his business partners sued him earlier this year, accusing him of misusing $31,000 of company money. The lawsuit accused him of using company money for campaign events, including ads and mass mailings.

At the time, Waide called the lawsuit an “unfortunate business dispute” and said he was confident it would be resolved.

Waide lives in Madisonville and represents the 10th District, which includes portions of Hopkins County in western Kentucky. He was first elected in 2010 and re-elected in 2012. Campaign records show he spent more than $24,800 on his 2012 campaign.

Waide’s first court appearance is scheduled for Aug. 29.