Regional
11:59 am
Tue November 8, 2005

Developments In State Hiring Probe

Frankfort, KY – In Frankfort Tuesday, there's a developing story concerning legal fees
charged by lawyers involved in the Fletcher administration probe.
A transportation cabinet attorney has refused to say if the agency will
go to court to keep the bills from attorneys secret. The bills are from lawyers
who are reviewing records sought by a special grand jury.
The attorney general's office has ruled the records are subject to disclosure
under the Kentucky Open records Act.
Meanwhile, a state transportation cabinet official has filed a lawsuit against
the agency's acting secretary.
Sarah Missy McCray claims she was punished for helping investigators
in the state hiring probe. She testified before the Franklin County special
grand jury that's investigating the Fletcher administration.
The cabinet personnel officer claimed in the suit that acting transportation
cabinet secretary Bill Nighbert blocked her from getting a raise. McCray says
it happened after she helped investigators from the attorney general's office.
A Franklin County special grand jury indicted Nighbert in September for the
alleged incident. Fletcher had previously pardoned Nighbert and eight others
for alleged misdemeanor violations of the state personnel law. In the lawsuit,
McCray claims Nighbert told her if the incident had happened years ago, he
might have "socked her in the mouth". Nighbert has denied retaliating against
McCray.
And, in a related story, the Governor's been described as "unaward of
reality" in an e-mail from his former director of personnel and efficiency, Basil
Turbyfill.
E-mails between Turbyfill and former UK sports announcer Ralph Hacker
were obtained by the Lexington-Herald newspaper.
The comment by Turbyfill was in reference to the investigation into the
administration's hiring practices. He suggested Fletcher should resign
"for the good of the party".