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Senator's brother gets state post

Gov. Steve Beshear has given a state patronage job to another Democratic insider: Dewey Blevins, younger brother of state Sen. Walter Blevins, D-West Liberty.

Dewey Blevins, 50, started this month as the $72,000-a-year director of the Division of Facilities Management at the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

Dewey Blevins, who declined to comment Tuesday, previously sold radio advertising in West Liberty. Before that, he worked for 17 years at the state Corrections Department, including a long stint as facilities manager at Eastern Kentucky Correctional Complex, the state prison in West Liberty, his older brother said.

Dewey Blevins left the state payroll last time because he felt the Republican administration of previous Gov. Ernie Fletcher was unfairly passing him over for promotions, Walter Blevins said.

"He tried the private sector for a while and decided that he'd rather go back and get that state pension," said Walter Blevins, who was first elected to the legislature in 1982.

The senator said he did not ask the governor to hire his brother.

"I knew that he was applying for it, but I didn't know that he'd gotten it until I got a call a week ago," Walter Blevins said.

"He's got the same name I've got. That could be a little help, maybe," the senator added. "But he's very well-versed in construction. It's not like a political appointment, per se, in that he's actually qualified."

Beshear spokesman Jay Blanton said the job is non-merit and can be filled at the governor's pleasure, although Dewey Blevins happens to be a good fit.

"He is very qualified for this job," Blanton said. "He has years of experience doing exactly this sort of work."

Blanton said he was not aware of any discussions between the governor and the senator regarding the hiring.

Dewey Blevins won some minor attention in the 1993 primary elections. Then a supervisor at EKCC, Blevins gave his employees the required four-hour holiday to vote — except for one worker, Carter Evans.

He announced that Evans had to stay at work because he was a Republican and there were no Republican races on the local primary ballot, according to a voting-rights lawsuit that Evans filed later. The suit was dismissed.