Patronage Probe

The Kentucky Supreme Court ruled that a special Grand Jury investigating Gov. Ernie Fletcher's administration shouldn't hand down indictments against people the governor has pardoned.

In the 4-to-2 opinion, Justice Martin Johnstone writes that the pardon can stop any further legal proceeding concerning the conduct of those pardoned.

The grand jury investigating the administration's hiring practices has issued 29 indictments in the case, including one against the governor. He's charged with criminal conspiracy, official misconduct and violating a prohibition against political discrimination.

Fourteen of the indictments remain sealed.

Fletcher announced last August that he had pardoned his entire administration, other than himself, for any charges that could result from the probe.

In his pardon, Fletcher named nine people specifically and offered blanket amnesty to everyone else.


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