WKU Public Radio News Staff
Wed June 15, 2005
Fletcher Says Investigation Political
Frankfort, KY – Governor Fletcher says the indictment of three top officials in the transportation cabinet was politically motivated and contains factual errors.
Fletcher continued his administration's attack on Attorny General Greg Stumbo. It was Stumbo's office that presented stacks of documents about political influence in personnel decisions.
Acting Secretary Bill Nighbert, Deputy Secretary Jim Adams and Commissioner Dan Druen were indicted Tuesday on three misdemeanor charges they conspired to fire deputy Inspector General Mike Duncan for political reasons
Fletcher said the indictment inaccurately reflects the six month probationary period from Duncan's hiring.
Deputy Attorney General Pierce Whites says the charge alleges that Duncan's supervisor, Inspector General David Ray, was not allowed to certify the successful completion of Duncan's probation. He says that itself is a violation of the merit sytem law.
Whites also took issue with the administration's continued attacks that the investigation is politically motivated.
Whites noted it was a grand jury of 12 citizens that decided to bring the charges.
Fletcher says he sees no reason to suspend or otherwise change the status of Nighbert, Adams or Druen and he said he has given no thought to pardoning anyone in his administration who might be charged.
Fletcher also claimed it was unprecedented for a special grand jury to be impaneled to consider misdemeanor charges, which Whites said was untrue.