Merit Investigation

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The investigation into state personnel practices in Governor Ernie Fletcher's administration is spawning a hiring frenzy of its own.

Private lawyers have been hired by Fletcher's office to handle pieces of the investigation into allegations of improper political influence in Merit System jobs.

The Transportation, Personnel and Finance cabinets have each hired outside attorneys, along with the governor's office.

Whatever the investigation's total price tag will be depends on how long the probe lasts, and where it leads.