LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A conservative think tank is calling out Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear for continuing to have housekeepers and chefs working at the Governor’s Mansion during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions on Monday released results from an open records request, which shows about a dozen employees being paid for working at the Frankfort residence where Beshear and his family live.
From March 10 to April 10, some of the mansion employees worked more than 40 overtime hours, according to documents the group provided.
Those employees include four housekeepers, who make $29,000 to $43,000 a year, and three chefs, who make as much as $60,000, in addition to the mansion’s executive director and other maintenance workers.
A spokesman for the governor’s office said the administration followed the same rules for the mansion staff as it has for all state employees.
But Bluegrass Institute President and CEO Jim Waters told The Courier Journal on Monday that the findings are an insult to Kentuckians who have closed their small companies and changed their lives because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We think that the governor and his family can fix their own meals and make their own beds,” Waters said. “If everybody else in Kentucky is living by the protocols, they can too.”
The state employees who work at the Governor’s Mansion fall under the Finance and Administration Cabinet.
Beshear spokeswoman Crystal Staley said in a statement Monday the cabinet reduced its in-person employees assigned to the Governor’s Mansion by more than half, which is consistent with Beshear’s statewide directive to reduce in-person work in favor of work from home where possible.
“It was important to the cabinet that state employees assigned to the Governor’s Mansion were treated the same as the rest of state government and allowed to participate in work from home,” Staley said.