Acquisition of Phone Records Under Investigation

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Attorney General Greg Stumbo's office has begun a preliminary investigation into how political blogger Brett Hall obtained state phone records. The Louisville Courier-Journal reports the records were used in an effort to embarrass Democratic candidates for state offices.

Deputy Attorney General Pierce Whites says a decision will be made on whether to start a full-blown inquiry after the preliminary investigation is complete. The records involve more than 19-thousand written phone messages taken by a receptionist in Governor Paul Patton's administration for Patton Cabinet Secretary Crit Luallen and others in her office.

The Fletcher administration has classified similar records as exempt from open-records law. Last week, Hall posted excerpts allegedly taken from those phone messages on his political blog, One allegedly was a message that current attorney general candidate Jack Conway left for Luallen, in which he used a derisive term to refer to former U-S Representative Anne Northup. Hall removed the posting last week after a Northup adviser complained.

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

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