Federal Judge Stalls Fletcher Deposition In Hiring Case

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - A federal judge on Monday stalled the
possibility of Gov. Ernie Fletcher giving a deposition as part of a
case connected to the state hiring probe.
Attorneys were planning for Fletcher to give a deposition in the
case of former Transportation Cabinet official Mike Duncan on Feb.
20. But the ruling by U.S. District Judge Karen Caldwell delays
that possibility until a decision is made on the governor's request
for a summary judgment in the case.
Duncan, a Democrat with ties to U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler, is
claiming in a federal lawsuit that his civil rights were violated
when Fletcher administration officials allegedly fired him for his
political affiliation. Duncan was fired as the cabinet's top
investigator in May 2005.
For more than a year, Attorney General Greg Stumbo investigated
allegations that Fletcher and other administration officials
steered protected state jobs to political supporters. Fletcher was
eventually indicted on three misdemeanors stemming from the case,
but the charges were dropped in a deal with prosecutors.
Fletcher has asked the federal court to dismiss Duncan's claims
of civil rights violations.
"Frankly, it's not a lawful suit when you look at it,"
Fletcher said. "It's a frivolous suit, and I think our appeal to
dismiss that was appropriate."
Thomas Clay, one of Duncan's lawyers, said he planned to ask
Caldwell to reconsider her decision and allow him a chance to
"I haven't had a chance to respond to anything, and that does
cause me some concern," Clay said.

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

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