Fletcher Promises More Pardons, Makes Last-Minute Appointments

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Gov. Ernie Fletcher spent his last day in office poring over pardon requests and making appointments to vacant seats on state boards and commissions.

Fletcher had already pardoned nine women, most of whom were convicted of killing abusive spouses.

Those pardons, announced Sunday, were Fletcher's first since those he offered to his entire administration in the wake of an indictments related to a grand jury probe into alleged illegal patronage.

Fletcher, an ordained Baptist minister whose term ends at midnight on Monday, said he opted to pardon the women "based on their individual circumstances."

The five abuse victims, Jilletta W. Turner, Stacy Lyons, Teresa Fay Vincent, Antoinette Johnson and Gabrielle L. Cecil, are in state prisons. Cecil, Turner and Vincent are serving murder sentences, and Lyons and Johnson were convicted of manslaughter. Green was in prison for murder but was given a full pardon.

Public defender Marguerite Neill-Thomas said in most of the cases the women had lived in fear of abusive husbands.

Fletcher aides had said he intended to issue additional pardons, though he had not done so as of 6 p.m. EST on Monday. Deputy General Counsel Garland Hale "Andy" Barr IV said an announcement would be made later Monday evening.

The outgoing governor appointed 46 people on Monday to seats on state boards and commissions, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported on its Web site.

Among those appointees was Kenny Bishop, Fletcher's director of the governor's mansion and a Grammy-nominated gospel singer, who was named to a seat on the Kentucky Center for the Arts. The term expires April 29, 2009.

Carol Jean Cave, wife of Fletcher's chief of staff, was appointed to the Kentucky Authority for Educational Television on Friday for a term expiring June 30, 2009.

Also, Cherri G. Moore, chief of staff to first lady Glenna Fletcher, was appointed to the Historic Properties Advisory Commission on Friday for a term expiring Aug. 11, 2010. Moore worked with Mrs. Fletcher during the final stages of the renovations of the first floor of the governor's mansion.

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

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