Monday, October 07, 2002

Instant update from Kentucky...

An AP statehouse reporter in the Lexington Herald-Leader has a few more details. For example, one of Tina Conner's claims is that during the relationship, Governor Patton's office had tipped her in advance of state inspectors coming to Birchtree Healthcare. However, according to the Cabinet for Health Services, inspections are planned in regional offices, not in Frankfort, and the schedule is closely guarded. In other words, not even the governor should know when inspectors would come. (Emphasis on 'should'. Law enforcement, invited by Health Services Secretary Marcia Morgan, is trying to determine if someone might have leaked a schedule to the governor's office.) Birchtree Healthcare was in Clinton in Hickman County, which is along the Mississippi River, about 300 miles from Frankfort.

More on Birchtree: Conner had been complaining that it wasn't getting its fair share of Medicaid funding - which Health Services agreed with. However, it took a call from the governor's office to get everything straightened out, as the tracking system was pretty FUBAR. Is that 'sex-for-favors'? Conner says yes; the actual evidence is inconclusive.

There was also some reporting on phone calls between the governor's office and Conner, who wasthe Patton administration's contact person for Hickman County for five years. Also not surprising, seeing as how Conner had a legitimate beef about Medicaid funding, and constituent complaints would be funnelled through her.

There's a lot that has to be proved to make a case for sexual harassment. I'm not sure that the evidence is there. But then, Bill Clinton was sued by Paula Jones on even less evidence. That case may have been different because the Jones case was pure political motivation. The Patton-Conner case appears to be less so.

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