Nearly three out of four Kentuckians believe that Gov. Ernie Fletcher should not have issued pardons in a state hiring investigation, reports the Louisville Courier-Journal. Fletcher said he was not surprised by the poll. “I believe that a leader needs to be able to make tough decisions that in the short term are unpopular but in the long term will prove out to be the best for the commonwealth,” he said. Fletcher issued the pardons on Monday; his order covers all officials except himself who may yet be indicted for acts through Monday.
Fletcher pardoned nine current or former members of his administration who were indicted in an investigation of alleged illegal hiring. A grand jury is investigating whether state jobs were filled on the basis of politics, not merit.