FRANKFORT — A former official of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources created an oppressive work environment for women by telling them what clothes to wear and asking one to show her breasts, according to an ethics settlement released Monday.
In the settlement approved by the Executive Branch Ethics Commission, Kenneth "Scott" King of Frankfort did not contest charges that he violated state ethics laws by using his position as the department's assistant administrative services director to "create an oppressive and hostile atmosphere in his division to suit his own prurient, personal interests."
The agreement said King told subordinate employees to wear certain articles of clothing he favored and to wear short skirts and high heels to meetings, and on one occasion told an employee to allow him to see her breasts in exchange for favorable treatment at work.
Also, during staff meetings, King would tell females employees which of their body parts he and other male supervisors preferred.
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In the agreement, King also admitted to using the department's John Deere tractor for personal use.
King said he used the tractor, purchased with federal funds, to improve commercial property he didn't own. The property was used for his personal hunting, he said.
King also said he damaged the department's equipment and had the department pay for the repairs with federal money.
As part of the settlement, King agreed to pay a $2,750 civil penalty and receive a public reprimand, and he waived any right to appeal. He no longer is employed by the state.
John Steffen, executive director of the ethics commission, said King's case was the final one of several involving state wildlife officials.
In May, the commission settled five cases involving violations that stemmed from a scheme to deliver fish from a state hatchery to private ponds. The officials were Benjamin T. Kinman, former deputy commissioner; Mark Roberts, game management foreman; Gerald Buynak, assistant director of fisheries; and Steve Marple, manager of Pfeiffer Fish Hatchery.
In the fifth case, Ronald C. Brooks, director of fisheries, was accused of directing an employee to acquire a controlled chemical for former Commissioner Jonathan Gassett's personal use.
In March, Gassett settled nine ethics charges, including allegations that he directed state workers to do personal chores for him on state time. He was reprimanded and fined $7,500.
The fish and wildlife department is an agency of the state Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, although it is governed by a nine-member commission appointed by the governor. It is responsible for the conservation of fish and wildlife resources and for boating safety in the state.
In other action Monday, the Executive Branch Ethics Commission found ethics code violations against:
■ Joseph "Lonnie" Culver, former deputy adjutant general of the Kentucky National Guard and commander of the 38th Infantry Division of the Indiana National Guard.
Culver, of Bardstown, admitted that during his employment, he used a Kentucky National Guard helicopter to fly from Louisville to inactive-duty training in Indianapolis, with a return flight to Louisville on the same day, and that he used a Kentucky National Guard vehicle on several occasions to make the trip.
National Guard policy requires soldiers to travel to inactive-duty training at their own expense.
In a settlement agreement, Culver paid a $2,000 civil penalty, received a public reprimand and waived any right to appeal.
■ Brian Wright of Beaver Dam, who was a maintenance supervisor at Green River Youth Development Center.
Wright admitted that he used a Green River credit card to buy items valued at more than $350 that he took home for personal use. On at least one of the receipts, he placed his subordinate's signature without permission.
Wright agreed to pay a $2,500 civil penalty, received a public reprimand and waived any right to appeal.
Wright previously pleaded guilty to criminal misdemeanor charges in state court for the card usage. He agreed to serve a minimum of 60 days in jail, which was suspended for two years pending no future arrests. He was fined about $300 and had to pay court costs.
■ Jeffery M. Dean of Louisville, a former certified psychological associate from the state Department of Juvenile Justice.
Dean admitted that on at least 19 occasions that he failed to visit five juveniles whom he was assigned to counsel and that he told his supervisor he had made the visits. Dean also falsified other official documentation, including monthly activity reports, travel vouchers and time sheets.
He agreed to pay a $2,000 civil penalty, received a public reprimand and waived any right to appeal.
■ Liberty Campbell of Jeremiah, a former probation and parole officer with the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet.
Campbell admitted in a settlement agreement that she used her influence to fraudulently issue a grand-jury subpoena to obtain records from Appalachian Wireless for her husband's cellphone to gather information she wanted to use for her own purposes.
She waited about 11 months to inform her supervisor of her conduct, telling her supervisor only after she thought the conduct would be revealed.
Campbell agreed to pay a $1,500 civil penalty, received a public reprimand and waived any right to appeal.