LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Former University of Louisville Trustee Ron Butt called his colleagues "a fully illegal board" Wednesday. Butt claims he stepped down from his role because he's soon to be a legal resident of Puerto Rico and he had enough of Chairman Larry Benz whom he accused of breaking the law.
Butt said the U of L board of Trustees’ threat Friday to possibly sue the University Foundation was the final straw. He intended to resign in October when he officially becomes a tax resident of Puerto Rico.
Kentucky Law requires a U of L Trustee either be a Kentucky resident or have graduated from the University in order to serve.
On his way out, Butt leveled accusations at Benz claiming that the Chairman may have been doing more than just serving the board illegally.
“I believe that Larry may be registered to vote in Kentucky simultaneous to his registration in Florida”, Butt said. “In addition to his ineligibility to serve as U of L Board Chairman, I am concerned that he is attempting to illegally vote in two different states during a vitally important election.”
Butt claims to have sent letters to both the Kentucky Governor and Secretary of State's office urging them to investigate.
A spokesperson for Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes told us that they have yet to receive any correspondence from Ron Butt.
A spokesperson for Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin responded, writing:
“To my knowledge, we have not received a letter from Butt. Attorney General Andy Beshear’s politically-motivated lawsuit is the root cause of the current uncertainty at the University of Louisville. The old board now has no Republicans, too few minorities and the old chairman might not meet the residency requirements of KRS 164.821(5). Acting in accordance with Attorney General Jack Conway’s advisory opinion from September 2015, Governor Bevin’s re-organization corrected all of these legal problems. The new board meets the political requirement and includes four racial minority members. This outstanding group of individuals will serve in the best interests of the University.”
Meanwhile, the court case between the Governor and Trustees goes to court Thursday morning in Frankfort.
“Larry Benz's immediate resignation would begin to correct the problems that plague the University community and at least restore the confidence that the governing structure of the school isn't a group of people who thumb their noses at Kentucky's laws”, said Butt.
Chairman Benz released statements calling Butt's claims "completely without merit". He admits to having pursued a residency in Florida but says he abandoned that effort.
Full statement from Larry Benz:
“Ron Butts claims that I am a Florida resident are completely without merit. While I admit pursuing Fl residency, this past year, I was not going to qualify and abandoned. My taxes, drivers license and voter registration are all in KY. I will provide scanned copies of my tax returns and any other documents that attest to my proud residency of Kentucky. “
In another statement, Benz went on to explain that he can prove his tax residency and he is registered to vote in Kentucky.
Benz closed with, “I will not make any additional comments on the Ron Butt sideshow.”
We asked Ron Butt how certain he was that the information he gleaned from the internet is accurate, Butt responded, "100-percent".