Former tourism chief agrees to $2,000 ethics fine

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - The Executive Branch Ethics Commission has fined former Tourism Commissioner Mike Cooper $2,000 in an agreement to resolve ethics charges.

Cooper, who resigned in February, was accused of misusing state resources for his own financial gain.

Cooper was publicly reprimanded Monday. He also waived his right to appeal.

Cooper acknowledged that he had traveled to England and participated in events organized by GOSH PR, a firm that had a contract with the Kentucky Department of Tourism. The firm paid for Cooper's meals and taxi rides. Cooper, who said the trip was personal, later approved an invoice for the Department of Tourism to reimburse GOSH PR for his expenses.

The panel also found Cooper charged personal items to a state-issued credit card and conducted personal business while on approved state travel.

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