Kentucky Patronage Probe

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) -- Four former high-ranking officials in Gov. Ernie Fletcher's administration were brought up on ethics charges Friday by the state ethics commission for their alleged roles in a state hiring scandal.

The panel approved ethics charges against Darrell Brock, James L. Adams, Basil Turbyfill and Robert Wilson Jr. All four had been pardoned previously by Fletcher and two of them were fired – Wilson and Turbyfill.

Fletcher's administration was under investigation for more than a year over allegations that the governor's political supporters were being given protected state jobs based on their connections instead of qualifications. Fletcher issued a blanket pardon for anyone in his administration who could be criminally charged.

Fletcher was later indicted on three misdemeanor charges that eventually were dropped in a negotiated deal with prosecutors.

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

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