Head of Ky. mine permitting division fired

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Officials in Gov. Steve Beshear's
administration won't say why the head of Kentucky's mine permit
division has been fired.
A spokeswoman for the governor referred The Courier-Journal's
questions about Ron Mills' firing to Len Peters, secretary of
Energy and Environment Cabinet. Peters declined to be interviewed
through a spokeswoman.
Mills also declined to comment on why he was dismissed from the
job that pays $79,000 per year.
The firing comes about a week after Beshear and Peters announced
a hike in fees to pay for 19 additional employees to help clear a
backlog of permit applications.
Tom FitzGerald, director of the Kentucky Resources council and
an environmental lobbyist, says Mills may have been fired to
placate coal interests that want to speed up the permitting
FitzGerald says Mills was fired for doing "a superlative job."
Information from: The Courier-Journal