McConnell secret audio whistle blower defends story, past - News, Weather & Sports

McConnell secret audio whistle blower defends story, past

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE)- By phone Monday, Jacob Conway stood by his story publicly identifying two men he claimed made a secret audio recording of Senator Mitch McConnell.

Conway said an article in the local newspaper claiming he was backtracking on his version of events was inaccurate. Specifically, Conway said quotes published by the paper were part of a 45 minute long conversation and taken out of context.

Conway says he did call Shawn Reilly's attorney, Ted Schouse, on Friday, offering to recant on what he said to local and national media a day earlier. But Conway said the only reason he did that was because he never anticipated the media fire storm that had ensued.

 "I wanted to make this media frenzy calm down," adding he has been sick to his stomach all weekend about the situation because he never wanted to get Shawn or Curt, both one time friends, in trouble.

Conway said he told Reilly's co-counsel, Ted Schouse, that he speaks with Reilly and Morrison frequently, and it's possible that conversations can "blend together."

"The point I was trying to make is no body remembers every conversation they had, word for word, from two months ago," Conway said.

Conway said his attempt to reach out to Reilly's attorney was an emotional decision, one he now regrets.

"Thursday was an extremely chaotic day," Conway said. "I was tired on Friday and didn't think through what I was saying."

 Conway said he stands by the story that Reilly and Morrison made the tape together after a McConnell campaign event February 2. Conway said both men told him about the recording in independent conversations, and by phone on Monday he said he stands by that story.

"I've told the truth since Thursday and I will continue to tell the truth," he said.

Conway said he is "100% cooperating with the FBI," and that agency's eavesdropping investigation, which is why he has stopped doing on camera interviews about the situation.

Conway said he also will no longer comment on the contents of the audio recording.

Conway said a 2005 criminal case in which he was accused of stealing money from the office safe at the Jefferson County Attorney's Office while working as a clerk there as well as from the Log Cabin Republicans, a national GOP group that advocates equality for gays and lesbians.

Conway claims he was innocent in both of those cases but made an alford plea on the advice of his attorney's, meaning he did not admit guilt but agreed there was enough evidence to convict him. He was put on diversion and agreed to pay back the money.

Conway said fear over that incident going public was part of the reason he briefly decided to recant his story, but now believes the change or heart, and story, was a mistake.

"The past is irrelevant to the situation at hand," Conway said.

"I stand by what I said to FBI on Thursday and the media on Thursday and I don't want to make any more public statements so as not to affect the FBI investigation."

The Jefferson County Attorney's office released the following statement:

"Mr. Conway came to our office in 2001 as a Jefferson Scholar, a intern program run by then-Commissioner Delores Delahanty. He was hired as a clerk in the Community Services department upon his high school graduation. Upon completion of the LMPD investigation of the theft from our office in 2005, Conway was suspended pending adjudication of charges against him, and he resigned on September 6, 2005"

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