Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Will Beshear Look At Lexington Jail?

None of the 89 names on former Governor Ernie Fletcher's last-minute pardon list work at the Fayette County Detention Center. If that's what you were counting on, I'm sorry about your luck.

Meanwhile, one thing jumped out from the coverage of Governor Beshear's inaugural address:
Beshear said he would introduce a legislative package that would strengthen penalties for ethics violations, improve protection for whistleblowers and change the way appointments are made to the Executive Branch Ethics Commission.

It's easy to guess Beshear is talking about merit system whistleblowers. But does he know something about the mess Lexington officials have made of their local jail and the systematic abuse of whistleblower Cpl. John Vest?

Speculation at the jail has the long-awaited federal indictments coming down very soon. But that isn't the important part. With the indictments comes the unsealing of the evidence the FBI collected in their 2006 raid on FCDC. You may remember: that's the hundreds of hours of video and audio evidence which brought dozens of FBI agents in to storm the jail and pull out even more evidence. This is the evidence Mayor Teresa Isaac claimed to have examined thoroughly in a one night cram session.

If he hasn't already, Governor Beshear would do very well to look into this fiasco right away. Getting to the bottom of Mayor Jim Newberry's stunning mishandling of this sorry episode presents a fabulous opportunity for the state's new chief executive.