Attorney General At Odds With Fletcher Over Appointments

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Five Republican appointees to the state's two largest universities should be removed, Attorney General Greg Stumbo said Monday in a letter to Gov. Ernie Fletcher.

Stumbo, a Democrat, contends in the letter that the appointments at the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville violate a state law requiring "proportional representation of the two leading political parties" based on voter registration.

Fletcher spokeswoman Jodi Whitaker said the governor has done nothing wrong.

"Governor Fletcher is committed to appointing the best and brightest individuals to serve in these positions," Whitaker said in a written statement. "The governor has followed the law."

Stumbo threatened court action to remove trustees if they don't resign.

Since 2004, Fletcher has appointed seven Republicans and two Democrats as trustees at UK and eight Republicans and two Democrats at UofL.

"By creating a Republican majority among the gubernatorial appointees to those boards, you have denied the people their guaranteed voice," Stumbo wrote in the letter.

Records from the State Board of Elections show Kentucky's political makeup as 56.9 percent Democrat, 36.6 percent Republican, and 6.5 percent other.

Stumbo, a Democrat, has been at odds with Fletcher in the past. Stumbo helped lead an investigation into the Fletcher administration's hiring practices. That investigation led to an indictment against the first-term governor on charges of political patronage.

The indictment was dismissed in a negotiated agreement with prosecutors.

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

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