Tuesday, May 17, 2005
Scandal in Frankfort
Former Kenton County Kentucky Judge Executive Dick Murgatroyd, recently appointed Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications in the Executive branch of Kentucky’s first Republican Governor since 1971 and former bachelor Executive Producer of WLWT’s long forgotten Bob Braun Show, is one of the targets of an investigation by the Kentucky Attorney General’s office regarding patronage within the State Department of Transportation.
Murgatroyd or “Murg”, as he is known to male and female associates and companions, is currently traveling in Japan with Governor Fletcher and was not quoted in any articles thusfar published across Kentucky and southwest Ohio.
The Attorney General’s office began its investigation last week following notification by Doug Doerting, assistant director of personnel in the Transportation Cabinet of "illegal political patronage”.
Doering also provided the AG with, according to the Kentucky Post, “a stack of papers more than an inch thick” including emails and memos submitted to the Personnel Board by various high-ranking members of the Fletcher administration that provide, according to Doering, “a window into the real world of state government personnel practices”.
Kentucky Attorney General and highest ranked state Democrat Greg Stumbo said in a press conference yesterday that a second, unnamed Transportation Cabinet official has provided more corroborating evidence in what appears to be the firing or forced retirement of more than 500 persons.
Stumbo said a grand jury could be empanelled and that "it does appear serious, and it does appear widespread”.
Before the Attorney General’s office obtained a search warrant to seize Transportation Cabinet personnel records yesterday, the Kentucky Post detailed a weekend farce that could have only happened here in the Bluegrass State:
Agents with the Kentucky Bureau of Investigation - a part of Stumbo's agency - tried Friday to obtain records from the Transportation Cabinet but were instructed to leave by acting Cabinet Secretary Bill Nighbert. Investigators from both offices spent the weekend guarding the files and watching each other…[Fletcher spokeswoman] Carla Blanton said there was some confusion Friday about the identity of the attorney general's office investigators and cabinet officials wanted to make sure personnel records were not improperly disclosed. Stumbo scoffed at that explanation. "They've got badges," he said of his investigators.
I’m wondering, following the revelations concerning Spokane’s Republican mayor Jim West and the heavily hushed GannonGate, if the illegally bartered patronage positions were also traded for favors more personally fulfilling than the merely political?
Time and the nervousness of Kentucky’s highly ranked Republican bachelors will tell.
Image: Google, Cincinnati Enquirer, governor.ky.gov