Ex-Transportation Official Charged With Ethics Code Violations

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - A former member of Governor Fletcher's administration is facing ten counts of ethics violations for his alleged role in the merit system scandal.

Dick Murgatroyd was charged yesterday by the Executive Branch Ethics Commission.

He's accused of being involved in hiring and firing state workers based on politics. Murgatroyd is a former deputy secretary in the Transportation Cabinet.

The governor fired Murgatroyd and eight others in September 2005, saying they used poor judgment in hiring decisions. Murgatroyd was one of 15 named individuals indicted in the merit system investigation that has plagued Fletcher's tenure.

Fletcher pardoned Murgatroyd and others who were charged. The ethics charges against Murgatroyd focus on his alleged use of his official position to give advantages to certain people based on politics rather than qualifications.

Murgatroyd could not be reached for comment but his friend and associate, Scott Kimmich, says Murgatroyd is confident of his innocence.

Commission attorney John Steffen says that even though Murgatroyd no longer works in state government, the commission believes his actions should be scrutinized. Steffen says each count carries a possible fine of up to five-thousand dollars and a public reprimand.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-10-20-07 1200EDT

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