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Ex-Fletcher officials to pay fines

FRANKFORT — Two former state officials have agreed to pay fines relating to a 2005 investigation of state hiring practices under former Gov. Ernie Fletcher.

The Executive Branch Ethics Commission approved settlements with James Adams and Dan Druen on Friday. Under the settlement agreements, Adams must pay $1,000 and Druen $2,500.

Adams and Druen were employed by the Transportation Cabinet during the Fletcher administration. Adams was the former deputy secretary of the cabinet. Druen was the cabinet's administrative services commissioner.

The commission had filed charges against Druen in 2006 and Adams in 2007. The charges say there was "probable cause" to think Druen and Adams violated personnel laws and the public interest by seeking to hire allies of Fletcher and demote or transfer Democrats from protected merit-system jobs.

More than a dozen officials of the Fletcher administration were charged by a Franklin County grand jury for violating the state personnel laws. In August 2005, Fletcher issued a pardon for everyone involved except himself. Fletcher was later indicted on three misdemeanor charges, but they were dismissed in a settlement agreement with then-Attorney General Greg Stumbo.

In their agreements, Druen and Adams said they didn't know their actions were in violation of state law, but they recognized that the allegations, if proved, could result in a finding that each man had violated the law.

Adams has already paid his fine. Druen has 10 days to pay his fine.

Charges against two other former Fletcher officials connected with the hiring scandal remain. Dick Murgatroyd, former deputy chief of staff for Fletcher, and Basil Turbyfill, former director of the Governor's Office of Personnel and Efficiency, still face ethics charges.