WKU Public Radio News Staff
Wed August 24, 2005
Gov.Fletcher Hires Private Attorney
Frankfort, KY – Former Watergate prosecutor James Neal has been hired to represent Governor Fletcher in the investigation of his administration's hiring practices.
A spokesman in Fletcher's office says the state is not paying for Neal's services.
In Kentucky, Neal once represented former state Democratic party chairman Howard P. "Sonny" Hunt. Hunt went to prison for refusing to answer federal grand jury charges about activities in the administration of former governor Julian Carroll.
Fletcher has been subpoenaed to appear before the grand jury next Tuesday. A lawyer in Neal's Nashville office Wednesday declined to answer questions about whether the subpoena would be challenged.
Meanwhile, the Governor has returned to an old position that his administration made mistakes in hiring and firing.
But in his first radio address this week he also attacked the personnel law and compared it to an old situation comedy. Fletcher said unfamiliarity with the merit system law caused problems when his administration took office in December 2003.
He says many in his administration lacked the knowledge and expertise to manage in the out of date system but he did acknowledge mistakes were made