SEPTEMBER 22, 2005
There appears to be no end in sight to the scandals surrounding Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher. The latest involves the indictment of his buddy, Transportation Secretary Bill Nighbert, for violating Kentucky whistleblower law and seeking revenge against a public employee who reported hiring violations to the attorney general.
Recently, nine current or former members of Fletcher’s staff (including Nighbert) were indicted for violating Merit System personnel laws. In other words, Fletcher’s staff hired staff based on political ties rather than qualifications.
Despite the corrupt hiring practices, the Republican governor pardoned them all. Then, he fired most of them. In the midst of the corrupt hiring investigation, Fletcher made the news again for appointing his attorney and friend, John Roach, a man with no judicial experience, to the Kentucky Supreme Court. Fletcher passed over two sitting judges with more than ten years experience in lower state courts.
As if all this weren’t enough, Fletcher proceeded to alienate his own party by trying to oust the chairman of the Kentucky Republican Party, Darrell Brock. The state’s Republican Party Central Committee refused to ask for the resignation and instead made it clear that Brock has strong support. Fletcher has announced that he still plans to run for reelection in 2007.
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