Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway has issued an opinion on Mayor Jerry Abramson’s development agreements with the Cordish Company. Conway has determined that Abramson has the authority to negotiate and enter into such contracts without council approval.
The opinion was requested by a bipartisan group of council members who wanted clarification on the legality of Abramson’s agreements and financial dealings with Cordish for developing Center City and parts of 4th Street Live.
The opinion did not directly address the recent controversy of Cordish’s refusal to release a detailed record of how it spent city funds, but Conway says the council is free to change the transparency rules on a local level.
“I would assume that the Metro Council could pass an ordinance that made it clear that when you deal with Metro Government—an allocation from Metro Government—that you have to abide by certain transparency laws,” he says. “I would think that the council could do that without going to Frankfort.”
An ordinance requiring private entities to be more open about their use of city funds is currently in a council committee.