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State Police Investigating Beverage Allegations

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky State Police investigators are
looking at allegations made by a former high-ranking state
transportation official regarding alleged improprieties in state
government, a spokeswoman said Wednesday.
State police spokeswoman Maj. Lisa Rudzinski acknowledged
Wednesday that the state attorney general's office had referred
information to detectives regarding former highway engineer Sam
Beverage's statement to prosecutors.
"We are reviewing it for any criminal violations," Rudzinski
said.
Rudzinski said state police had been on the case for "less than
a month."
Beverage claimed in a statement to prosecutors last year that
Gov. Ernie Fletcher hand-picked certain road projects that should
receive funding based on political motivations.
Beverage has also claimed the state transportation secretary
wielded a $42 million discretionary fund as a "large campaign
chest" used to hand out favors to supporters and lawmakers who
voted in line with the administration.
During the two-year probe, Fletcher issued a blanket pardon for
everyone in his administration except himself. Fletcher, a
Republican seeking re-election this fall, was charged with
misdemeanor counts stemming from the probe, but they were
eventually dropped in a deal with prosecutors.
But Beverage was the only Fletcher administration official who
continued to face criminal charges because his alleged crime
occurred after the pardons. Beverage recently avoided possible jail
time in a deal with prosecutors. Beverage was charged with felony
perjury for allegedly lying to a special grand jury investigating
charges that the Fletcher administration illegally rewarded
political supporters with protected state jobs.
Beverage was sentenced to two years' probation and ordered to
pay a $500 fine, plus write an apology letter.

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


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