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Lawmaker's files remain closed

FRANKFORT — Attorney General Jack Conway has declined to release records about a state senator's employment record at Murray State University, citing an "open investigation."

Conway revealed the investigation, which relates to the employment documents of state Sen. Joey Pendleton, D-Hopkinsville, in a letter to State Republican Party Chairman Steve Robertson on Nov. 5, the day after Pendleton was re-elected to the Senate.

Robertson is accusing Conway of "a political cover-up." Allison Martin, a spokeswoman for Conway, said the attorney general has handled open records requests from Robertson about Pendleton "according to protocol."

In late October, Robertson asked Conway to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate allegations that Pendleton got unauthorized pay from the university while in Frankfort on legislative business.

Pendleton, who has represented the 3rd District of Christian, Todd and Logan counties since 1993, was not immediately available for comment Monday. He was the projects manager of Murray State's farm operations from July 1998 until June 30. He reportedly lost his job because of budget cuts. MSU President Randy Dunn was out of town Monday, his secretary said.

Robertson asked in an Oct. 20 letter to Conway for all records about Pendleton's employment at Murray State. Conway denied Robertson's open records request.

On Oct. 30, Robertson asked Conway for records showing that Conway had referred the Pendleton matter to another investigative or law-enforcement agency.

Conway again denied Robertson's request on Nov. 5, saying "the records you have requested relate to an open investigation that involves this office."