Gov. Beshear Thumbs Down On Reappointing Williams' Cousin

FRANKFORT, KY -- Gov. Steve Beshear has not reappointed a cousin of Senate President David Williams as an administrative law judge though Tom Davis of Tompkinsville was selected by a nominating committee for another four-year term, reports the Lexington Herald-Leader in its Saturday edition.

Williams, R-Burkesville, said the appointment is the Democratic governor's prerogative, "but every occasion he gets to stick his finger in my eye, he does."

Dick Brown, Beshear's director of communications, said, "The fact that Mr. Davis has any relationship with Sen. Williams played no role in the decision. The nominees for these positions face the same objective process as those for any other board, commission or appointment made by the administration."

Williams disputed Brown's comments. "The place over there leaks like a sieve and it was the factor," the senator said. "I'm not complaining, whining about this, but every time the governor does something like this, he looks a bit smaller."

Earlier this year, Beshear nixed a road project championed by Williams. Beshear's Transportation Cabinet canceled an $11.9 million change order that expanded a $53.2 million project to widen and straighten Ky. 90 and Ky. 61 in Cumberland County.

The change order was approved at the recommendation of Williams for his district in the final days of former Republican Gov. Ernie Fletcher's administration. The Beshear administration said the project was canceled because of its cost and "bad use" of the change-order process. Change orders are meant to reimburse contractors for unforeseen expenses, not expand the scope of projects, it said.

Beshear also redirected $15 million in developments at Dale Hollow State Park, which is in the heart of Williams' district, to the state Horse Park in Lexington to prepare for the 2010 World Equestrian Games.

Williams said Friday that he played no role four years ago when Fletcher appointed Davis to be an administrative law judge. Such judges, appointed by the governor with consent of the Senate, deal with workers' compensation claims and receive about $130,000 a year.

Davis, 59, said he learned Thursday that Beshear had not reappointed him. He is to leave the job July 15.

"I guess it's political," said Davis, a former district judge in Adair, Casey, Cumberland and Monroe counties.

Asked if his kinship to Sen. Williams played a role in his losing his job, Davis laughed and said, "I think that was a factor."

Davis, whose office is in Bowling Green, said he expects he will practice law in Tompkinsville.

Copyright - The Lexington Herald-Leader

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  • by David Location: Winchester on May 11, 2008 at 08:43 PM
    Larry, I can't believe that you are bashing Senator Williams without mention of the fact that Governor Beshear has the exact same character flaw that you accuse the Senator of having.
  • by Don Location: Lebanon Junction on May 11, 2008 at 05:57 PM
    Larry you are right. The biggest obstacle in Kentucky government is David Williams. He is nothing more than the bully in the school yard. The only reason he stays elected is his largely rural conservative group and doesn't have to answer to the voters in the metro areas. One would think, that as Senate President, he would have to answer to us all as Kentuckians and not just the Burksvillians. The sooner David Williams is replaced the better. We need a leader for Kentucky and not for just his minority in the Burkesville Klan. Lord help him see the error of his ways. Amen
  • by Jan Location: Louisville on May 11, 2008 at 05:31 PM
    OK lets set the record straight. In any previous administration all of the non-merit employees are let go/fired after the new governor is in power. There is a huge difference between merit and non-merit employees. It is mostly the pay difference. Most all non-merit employees were rewarded with their jobs due to active support of a governor during his campaign. Purely political jobs and mostly management. If I am correct Sen. Williams relative was in a non-merit position and served at the governors pleasure. When Ernie was in he tried to do away with the merit system(that was put into place to keep politics out of the rank and file). His apostles also fired some merit people without cause. Anyone see the settlement for 500K that was made because of corruption in the previous administrations Transportation Cabinet? I'm a Democrat and I voted for Ernie because I thought he was the most honest politician I had ever seen. Geez was I ever wrong. What a shame.
  • by Brian Location: Ashland on May 11, 2008 at 02:50 AM
    Well Tyler & Larry, in this case you are BOTH absolutely right!!
  • by Tyler Location: Richmond on May 10, 2008 at 03:11 PM
    Well now that the shoe is on the other foot will the state go after Beshear for hiring practices. I think this goes to show that politics in KY have a long way to go before they are actually about the people and not the parties.
  • by Larry Location: Lexington on May 10, 2008 at 11:51 AM
    The biggest problem in KY Government, is WILLIAMS. He acts like a kid, MY WAY OR NO WAY.


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