Was Grimes involved with family's Hugh Jass Burgers?
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Kentucky Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes is denying she had any connection to her family’s business, Hugh Jass Burgers, when she was asked at a young professionals event in Louisville about its low wages. 

“I’m not part of the family business,” she told a questioner at a breakfast meeting of the Young Professionals Association of Louisville Wednesday morning, according to an audio recording of the event. 


Legal documents, however, show Grimes acted as the business’s attorney in 2010 and 2011, when she filed its articles of incorporation and defended it in a lawsuit.

Grimes came under scrutiny earlier in the week, when CNN and other media outlets reported that employees at the burger joint owned by her family make minimum wage, which for restaurant servers is $2.13 an hour before tips.

She has hammered her opponent, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellRepublicans aim to avoid war with White House over impeachment strategy New York Times editorial board calls for Trump's impeachment CNN's Cuomo promotes 'Dirty Donald' hashtag, hits GOP for 'loyalty oath' to Trump MORE (Ky.), repeatedly on the campaign trail for not supporting Senate legislation to increase the regular minimum wage to $10.10 an hour and establish a substantially higher wage floor for tipped workers.

“You are consistently against helping people here in Kentucky actually earn a living wage,” she told him during a debate this month. 

She was confronted about the discrepancy at Wednesday’s breakfast.

“I wanted to ask you, shouldn't you practice what you preach on that issue?” a young man who identified himself as Tyler asked Grimes. “And have you talked to your family, I know you've written the articles of incorporation and worked for that company, have you talked to your family about that, and can you pledge today that you guys will start paying a living wage?”

Grimes disputed any connection to the business and described her legal work for Hugh Jass Burgers as a pro-bono public service.

“There's been a lot of accusations thrown around. The one that you just posed, Tyler, [is] inaccurate.  I'm not part of the family business.  I took on, before I was in public service, clients that [couldn't] advocate for themselves. That's the oath you take as an attorney," she said.

Public documents show Grimes provided legal services for the restaurant at its launch and for more than a year afterward. 

In June 2010, she filled out and filed with the Kentucky Secretary of State’s Office an application for the restaurant to conduct business in the state. In September of that year, she filed articles of organization for the business.

Grimes also defended Hugh Jass Burgers against a lawsuit by a former employee who slipped and fell. She filed a response to the claim with the Fayette County Circuit Court in December 2010.

She was mailed notices of service by the plaintiff’s attorney throughout 2011.

A spokeswoman for Grimes’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

Earlier in the week, she accused McConnell of attacking her family.

“Listen, my family is not in this race. I’m on the ballot. And as much as Mitch McConnell wants to attack my family — he has from the beginning — I’m going to stay focused on the issues,” she told CNN.