FRANKFORT, Ky. — (AP) — A federal trial started for the father of Kentucky's secretary of state on charges that he made illegal contributions to his daughter's unsuccessful U.S. Senate campaign in 2014.
Prosecutors allege that Jerry Lundergan hired consultants and vendors to work for his daughter's campaign, but he paid for them out of his business account and didn't ask for reimbursement from the campaign. Federal authorities say that amounted to an improper campaign contribution.
Lundergan's daughter is Alison Lundergan Grimes. She lost to Republican Mitch McConnell in the 2014 Senate campaign.
Jerry Lundergan's attorney told a federal jury on Tuesday that mistakes were made in reporting the contributions, but no laws were broken.
Grimes has called the charges politically motivated and predicted her father will be vindicated.
Jonathan Hurst, a former Senate campaign manager, will be called as a witness. The prosecution told the jury he is testifying and will get immunity from the charges.
Lundergan has been a fixture in Kentucky Democratic politics for decades. He's a former state lawmaker and formerly served as chairman of the Kentucky Democratic Party.
The trial is expected to last about four weeks.