Thursday, November 10, 2005

Rick Moranis calls the kettle black.

The administration of Kentucky's Governor Ernie "Rick Moranis" Fletcher, former star of Honey I Pardoned the Kids and Ethicsbusters I & II indicated today that it had a database proving that former Lov Gov, Paul Patton did the same things they're accused of doing.

Kids, in case you didn't get the message, Governor Fletcher is using now answering "yes" to the question, "if your best friend jumped off a roof, would you do it too?" Fletcher campaigned on restoring integrity to state government. Maybe he figured it would be best if state government was eased back into integrity, so it didn't suffer from withdrawl from going cold turkey on corruption.

And while we're at it, shouldn't Scott Crawford-Sutherland drop his maiden name? It looks obnoxious.

When asked for a comment about the story, the Governor said, "pardon?"

News story below:

Administration says politics influenced hiring during Patton era


Associated Press

FRANKFORT, Ky. - Gov. Ernie Fletcher's administration claimed Monday that an electronic database showed political considerations were a factor in personnel decisions during his predecessor's term.

Fletcher spokesman Brett Hall, during a hastily called press conference, said administration officials found a database containing 7,400 names of people seeking state jobs, promotions or other awards during former Gov. Paul Patton's administration.

Fletcher's administration has long maintained it is being investigated and punished for the same kind of hiring practices as other governors. And several months ago, Fletcher and his office has provided what it claimed was evidence of such previous conduct.

Assistant Attorney General Scott Crawford-Sutherland, the lead prosecutor in the personnel probe, noted that the statute of limitations on personnel offenses is a year.

Crawford-Sutherland compared Fletcher's point on Thursday to a speeding offense. Just because somebody didn't get pulled over for speeding three years ago doesn't mean they shouldn't be pulled over for speeding now, Crawford-Sutherland said.

Crawford-Sutherland said the administration event was a "diversion."

Hall claimed that to get on the list, individuals had to be politically connected, Hall said. It shows evidence of preselection in state hiring, among other things, Hall said.

Steve O'Daniel, an investigator in the state Justice Cabinet who worked on decoding the database, said there was not specific evidence of illegal activities. Officials had not cross-referenced all the names to see if some people were pushed ahead of more qualified candidates.

The database has been forwarded to the offices of State Auditor Crit Luallen and Attorney General Greg Stumbo for further review, Hall said.

Stumbo's office has been investigating since May allegations that the Fletcher administration broke the law in making personnel decisions involving rank-and-file state employees. That investigation, which is being reviewed by a Franklin County special grand jury, has netted 13 indictments of current or former Fletcher administration officials.

The special grand jury was meeting across town at the time of Hall's event.

Patton said in a telephone interview his administration did not have an "organized, systemic" way of placing people into state Merit System jobs.

"There was no program or effort comparable to what it appears the Fletcher administration may have had," Patton said.

The database was discovered in June, while administration officials were compiling documents for the ongoing attorney general's investigation, Hall said.

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