Regional
12:21 pm
Thu October 6, 2005

Hiring Delays Frustrate AG's Office

Frankfort, KY – The investigation of state merit system hiring practices is being slowed by the inability of the attorney general to gather necessary evidence.
The attorney general's office wants to determine whether Governor Fletcher's administration followed the law. To do so, state investigators say they must have access to e-mails both to and from Fletcher's former state government account.
Deputy Attorney General Pierce Whites says previous legal maneuvers by administration lawyers have kept evidence from the special grand jury investigating state hiring under Fletcher.
He says the maneuvering includes withholding e-mails and broad assertions of attorney-client privilege.
Meanwhile, Democratic lawmakers in Frankfort are complaining about the $1.1 million cost of hiring outside lawyers to help the Fletcher administration respond to the hiring probe.
But an administration official has said the cost would be $893,000.
Lexington Democratic Senator Ernesto Scorsone said after a legislative oversight committee meeting that he has no way of knowing how the money is being spent.
He says the administration won't release detailed records.