Tuesday, January 08, 2008

EXCLUSIVE: Transportation Cabinet investigates allegation of political intimidation against Beshear supporter

The Transportation Cabinet's Office of Inspector General has been investigating allegations that a merit system employee who strongly supported Steve Beshear in last fall's gubernatorial election used threats of political retaliation and intimidation against a fellow employee who was believed to be supporting Ernie Fletcher's re-election.

We have been provided several details of this incident. We are choosing at this time to withhold the names of the employees involved. We believe disclosing the pattern of behavior by Beshear's allies within the ranks of state merit workers is more important that revealing individual names.

The incident in question occurred in late summer. The incident began when the Beshear supporter and the other employee became involved in a heated discussion that did not involve politics. At one point during the conversation, the Beshear supporter made a veiled threat to the other employee. The exact wording of the threat is not known, but fell along the lines of "You just wait until after the election and see what happens." This was clearly construed as a threat, as the Beshear supporter had previously been heard to speculate on having influence with the new governor should Beshear win the election, which he did.

Transportation Cabinet officials became aware of the incident several weeks later, sometime prior to the election, although we do not know if the threatened employee filed a complaint or if one of the witnesses to the altercation reported it. However, no one from Transportation looked into the affair until after Beshear was sworn into office on Dec. 11.

The outcome of the investigation has not been made public, so at this time we do not know if the employee has been disciplined or not. Those types of punishments usually remain confidential, but given the fact that a Beshear supporter made the threats and the deal was investigated by the Beshear administration's Transportation Cabinet, we do not expect any discipline to be forthcoming.

We have been aware of this matter for some time, but have chosen to make it public at this time only because of the recent statements made by former Attorney General Greg Stumbo during his "exit interview" with the Lexington Herald-Leader. During that interview, Stumbo said that there may have been isolated incidences of merit system violations during previous Democrat administrations, but nothing like what happened during the Fletcher administration. This is a blatant lie. Merit system violations, such as the threat reported here, were part and parcel of the Democrats' standard operating procedures during the 32 years between the Nunn and Fletcher administrations.

To our readers: We received this information through a tip. If you have any other verifiable incidents of merit system violations by the Beshear administration or during previous Democrat administrations, please drop us an e-mail at ky_pac2@yahoo.com and include some way for us to confirm your report. If we can verify your information through a credible source, we will make it public and guarantee your anonymity.

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