Judge allows Fletcher political firing case to go forward

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - A U.S. District Court judge ruled Friday that portions of a federal lawsuit against Gov. Ernie Fletcher and members of his administration can go forward.

Though Judge Joseph M. Hood dismissed several parts of the lawsuit filed by Transportation Cabinet member Michael Duncan, Hood said there is an issue over whether Duncan's right to free speech and freedom of association were violated.

Duncan claims he was illegally fired because he supported Democrat Ben Chandler in the 2003 gubernatorial election.

Though Hood said there is "scant" evidence that Duncan was fired for supporting Chandler, "there is sufficient evidence to create genuine issue of material fact regarding the reason for Plaintiff's termination," Hood wrote in his 19-page order.

Hood lifted a stay of discovery in the case, meaning Fletcher could be deposed in the middle of his re-election campaign. Fletcher faces Democratic challenger Steve Beshear on Nov. 6.

Stephen Pitt, Fletcher's attorney, said it is "highly unlikely" Fletcher would be questioned before the election and isn't sure if he will appeal the decision.


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  • by marie Location: somerset on Sep 5, 2007 at 12:54 AM
    Why would anyone think this is a matter brought up at election time. It has been going on for years! If Earnie hadnt drug it out it would have been over long before now!
  • by Connie Location: Frankfort on Sep 4, 2007 at 06:27 PM
    Ernie Fletcher is a joke and makes me ashamed to be a Kentuckian! He is as crooked as they come and refuses to take responsibility. If he was going to bring honestly back to state government, he missed the boat by a mile! There is no witch hunt here, just a governor who has broken the law and thinks he is above being punished for it! He's a criminal and should be treated like one. He should get no special treatment because of the office he holds! He has destroyed morale in state government and will continue to do so given half a chance. He should be railroaded right out of Frankfort! If he practices medicine like he has run this state, I wonder how many of his patients have died? Ernie stinks and will not get my vote regardless of who runs against him. I'll vote for the dog catcher of the smallest town in KY (if he runs) before I'll vote for Fletcher. Furthermore, the attacks against Breshear from Fletcher, just makes Breshear all the more appealing to me. He cannot be any worse!
  • by SPIKE LEE OF KY.BB Location: LEX,KY. on Sep 3, 2007 at 11:28 AM
    THIS MATTER IS SO VERY CLEAR TO ME,FLETCHER AND LOTS OF HIS PEOPLE BROKE THE LAW,BOTTOM LINE.SO I AM NOT SPOOKED BY THIS AND WHERE IT CAME FROM,IT ALL HAS COME TO LIGHT .THE CURRENT ADMINISTRATION IS CORRUPT AND STILL IS.FLETCHER AND HIS PEOPLE ARE THE UNBIDLE GREEDY.HIS TENSION HAS CAUSED INJURY TO MANY KENTUCKIANS.BESHEAR CAN AND WILL BRING THE MORALE BACK TO KENTUCKY GOVERMENT.MY EYES ARE CLEAR AND MY HEART IS FULL COME NOVEMBER.BESHEAR IT ,FLETCHER NOT IT.SEE THERE BE THERE BESHEAR.LET'S ROLL.
  • by barry Location: hindman on Sep 2, 2007 at 05:51 PM
    Let's all feel sorry for Earnie - while he court's peabody coal, jets out to be on Leno or is threatened for being in the presidents no fly zone. yes, he continues to do an excellant job.Election or no election - come on clowns ! let's all rally round Earnie - he is our Man !
  • by Roger Location: Lexington on Sep 2, 2007 at 12:27 PM
    Ernie Fletcher is the worst governor in recent memory. He took the 5th so that he wouldn't incriminate himself. Does that sound like a "witch hunt" to you?
  • by steve Location: irvine on Sep 1, 2007 at 10:27 AM
    Its amazing that the liberals stir every thing up when election time comes witch hunts ect. I will tell you one thing if you would look at what they done the thirty years they held their dictatorship it would make your hair stand up these clowns are just trying to railroad Ernie.

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