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12 named in Gov. Fletcher misconduct case

FRANKFORT, Ky., July 26 (UPI) -- Kentucky state prosecutors have named at least 12 people who allegedly conspired with Gov. Ernie Fletcher to violate state personnel laws.

The 12 include Fletcher chief of staff Stan Cave; former state Commerce Secretary Jim Host; onetime Fletcher assistant Ralph Hacker; former Personnel Secretary Erwin Roberts; Deputy Transportation Secretary Marc Williams and state Transportation Cabinet official Roy Mundy; the Herald-Leader of Lexington, Ky., reports.

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Fletcher, Kentucky's first Republican governor since 1971, was indicted May 11 by a special grand jury on three misdemeanor charges -- criminal conspiracy, first-degree official misconduct and political discrimination.

He has pleaded not guilty and awaits a Nov. 8 trial on the charges.

Prosecutors allege Fletcher engaged in a criminal conspiracy to base personnel actions regarding rank-and-file employees on politics, in violation of the state merit law. The alleged conspiracy ran from May 24, 2004, through Sept. 14, 2005.

Fletcher is the third sitting Kentucky governor to be indicted.

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