Tuesday, November 01, 2005
GOP Thugs in Kentucky: Republican Governor Ernie "Al Capone" Fletcher now trying to Intimidate Grand Jury. This guy should resign now.
By Elisabeth J. Beardsley
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Gov. Ernie Fletcher said yesterday that he thinks special grand jury members investigating state hiring are right to question their liability for issuing post-pardon indictments.
Fletcher said he and his aides are not considering suing the grand jurors.
But he said they should ask questions after his administration argued in court that several indictments issued since his Aug. 29 pardons are an unconstitutional infringement on his amnesty powers.
"I think they're right to step up and say, 'Now wait just a minute, prosecutor, are you instructing us properly?' " Fletcher said.
"I think they had a natural concern because, frankly, we do believe, in the motion that we put forth, that these indictments are unconstitutional, therefore illegal," he said.
Attorney General Greg Stumbo, whose office has led the hiring investigation, said through spokeswoman Vicki Glass that Fletcher appears to be trying to thwart the grand jury's charge to expose government corruption.
"The governor is trying to set a dangerous precedent of intimidating a grand jury," Glass said. "The public learns the truth from the ordinary citizens of the grand jury when they report their findings."
Fletcher denied any intimidation and said the grand jurors raised a "natural concern."
The administration's legal team argued earlier this week that Franklin Circuit Judge William Graham should order the grand jury not to issue any more indictments.
Fletcher's pardons excluded only himself and covered acts through the day it was issued.
On Thursday, grand jurors asked Graham if they could potentially be sued for indicting more people.
Graham assured the grand jurors that they can't be sued for their official actions, but cautioned that their final report cannot include any names of people who weren't indicted.