Regional
11:25 am
Tue July 26, 2005

Fletcher's Office Sought End To Investigation

Frankfort, KY – Governor Ernie Fletcher is trying to cut a deal with Attorney General Greg Stumbo.
Fletcher's office says the Governor would make a public statement that his administration may have made personnel mistakes and some individuals might be subjected to discipline if a special grand jury investigation was held up.
The agreement includes a provision that Fletcher would appear before the special grand jury, though not under oath. The proposal says he would explain the changes in Merit System personnel practices his administration would undertake.
Gubernatorial counsel James Deckard says he reached the agreement with Stumbo during conversations over the July 4th holiday.
Stumbo's office says there never was any agreement.
Stumbo's office has been investigating the Fletcher admninistration for alleged political tampering with the state's merit system. The sytem was created in 1960 to insulate state civil service employees from politics. State law says personnel decisions in the system are supposed to be based on qualifications, not politics.
Meanwhile, deputy personnel cabinet secretary Bob Wilson entered a plea of innocent to a single charge that he conspired to violate state personnel laws.
Wilson is the last defendant to be arraigned on the charge. Two others indicted with him, Republican party chairman Darrell Brock and Fletcher administration official Basil Turbyfill, were arraigned last week and also pleaded not guilty.
The three are among eight officials who work for Governor Fletcher who have been charged with various infractions of the Merit System personnel laws.
Franklin County District Judge Guy hart did not set a trial date Tuesday, but Wilson will have his next hearing on September 14th along with the other defendants.