In spite of a pardon from the governor, Kentucky’s secretary
of transportation isn’t getting off the hook that easily.
A judge ruled Monday, Feb. 27, that Sec. Bill Nighbert will
have to stand trial for allegedly threatening a whistleblower in a state hiring
Gov. Ernie Fletcher issued a blanket pardon in the case, but
the judge ruled that the amnesty did not extend to the retaliation charges
The charges stem from a Franklin County grand jury
investigation of allegations that Fletcher’s administration based rank-and-file
personnel hiring decisions on politics rather than qualifications, The
Associated Press reported.
The grand jury has indicted 13 current and former officials
and associates on misdemeanor charges.
In August 2005, the governor pardoned everyone who could be
charged in the investigation, and while Nighbert argued that the pardon should
include the retaliation allegations against him, the judge did not agree.
The AP reported that Nighbert’s jury trial is slated
to begin July 26.