Fletcher's Judge Now Volunteering With Beshear Campaign

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - A former judge who authorized a special grand jury to investigate the hiring practices of Gov. Ernie Fletcher's administration now is a volunteer for Fletcher's Democratic challenger, a campaign spokesman said.

William Graham, a retired Franklin County circuit judge, has been serving as an unpaid volunteer on the campaign of Democratic challenger Steve Beshear, said Robert Kellar, Beshear's campaign spokesman.

The grand jury indicted Fletcher last year in an alleged scheme to reward political supporters with protected state jobs. The indictment was dismissed in August in a negotiated settlement with prosecutors.

Fletcher has maintained that the grand jury's investigation was politically motivated.

Fletcher supporter Larry Forgy, a Lexington attorney, said Graham's association with the Beshear campaign raises questions about the grand jury investigation.

"It stinks to high heaven," Forgy said.

Kellar said Graham has been a volunteer with the campaign since before the primary election, but that he has no "official position" with the campaign.

Graham is vacationing in New York and didn't return a phone call seeking comment.

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

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