FRANKFORT, Ky. – A grand jury indicted Kentucky's Republican Party chairman and two state officials Monday on charges alleging they conspired to violate state personnel laws.
The allegations revolve around the state's Merit System jobs and whether a few Republican officials conspired to hire and fire employees based on their political views. Merit System rules prohibit such actions.
All three men indicted Monday have close ties to Gov. Ernie Fletcher (search).
Basil Turbyfill (search) is in charge of filling political positions for Fletcher, and Bob Wilson (search) is part of the governor's Personnel Cabinet. GOP Chairman Darrell Brock was director of local government in Fletcher's office before he took the party job this year.
Fletcher's name has appeared in emails presented to the grand jury, but he has not been accused of wrongdoing.
The special grand jury was impaneled by Attorney General Greg Stumbo (search), a Democrat, to look into alleged violations of the state's version of civil service laws. It had already indicted five other people, all scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday.
Monday's indictment alleges Brock conspired with Transportation Cabinet official Dan Druen (search) to decide state Merit System jobs "based upon their political affiliation or opinion."
Druen, among those previously indicted, was linked to a "hit list" of state personnel targeted for dismissal, transfer or forced retirement.
Turbyfill is accused of conspiring with Druen, Wilson and Tim Hazlette (search), a personnel official in the Transportation Cabinet who has not been indicted. The indictment alleges they also sought to violate the Merit System, basing personnel decisions on political grounds.
Wilson's indictment also alleges he conspired with Turbyfill, Druen and Hazlette.
Special prosecutor Scott Crawford-Sutherland said the charges are Class B misdemeanors and carry a potential penalty of 30 days to six months in jail.
Fletcher administration officials could not be immediately reached for comment but in the past have complained the charges are groundless and a result of Stumbo's own political ambitions.