Kentucky’s beloved Attorney General, Jack Conway, announced last week that he has appointed Jim Crawford, the commonwealth’s attorney in Carrollton, as a special prosecutor to investigate Louisville’s Sullivan University for potential violations of Kentucky campaign finance laws after school executives allegedly encouraged employees to support his opponent in the general election. Apparently, some former employees of Sullivan’s sister institution, Spencerian College, accused school officials of urging them to contribute to Republican attorney general candidate Todd P’Pool this November. Spencerian is among several for-profit colleges that are currently being investigated by the attorney general.
Accusing General Conway of “turning Kentucky into a banana republic,” Republican state chairman Steve Robertson suggested yesterday that the Attorney General should also name a special prosecutor to look into allegations that Kentucky state government employees have been pressured into contributing to Gov. Steve Beshear’s re-election campaign: “If newspaper articles are the threshold by which the attorney general decides to appoint special prosecutors, then I demand Jack Conway appoint a special prosecutor or empanel a grand jury immediately to investigate the serious allegations of improper and illegal fundraising against Governor Beshear.”
There hasn’t been this much gnashing of teeth and rending of garments since Bubba Clinton got nailed by a special prosecutor for comforting his rod with his staff in the Oval Office. Sifting through all this sturm und drang, however, dispassionate observers will recognize the very real value the appointment of a special prosecutor gives to the interests of justice. Hiring a guy from the outside serves to vitiate complaints of partisanship and conflict of interest, and insures that criminal behavior—if, indeed, there be criminal behavior—will be discovered and prosecuted impartially.
Actually, General Conway (It’s been just over a year since he reminded us of what a tough son-of-a-bitch he is.) should take this opportunity to expand his crime-fighting horizon by appointing even more special prosecutors, to delve into a number of shady areas which are crying out for law enforcement attention. Some suggestions:
10. Louisville’s Metropolitan Sewer District. This little cabal of venal incompetents is currently being investigated by Kentucky Auditor Crit Luallen’s office, and the resulting report may require the services of more than one special prosecutor. And it will probably take a team of accountants just to analyze attorney Larry J. Zielke’s billing records.
9. Jefferson County Public Schools. The gaggle of loons out at the VanHoose Education Center makes the Purple Gang look like a bunch of Carmelite nuns. They bilk Louisville taxpayers at the rate of $12 grand per student, per year, and then graduate kids from high school in Metro Louisville, with only 31 percent of the district's 5,433 graduates last year college or career ready. At least 100 of these educrats are making over $100 grand a year, and it is impossible to believe that fraud, waste, and misfeasance are not rampant.
8. The University of Louisville. Hardly a year goes by without another financial scandal boiling over out at Third and Eastern Parkway. The University’s administration—clearly suffering from an advanced case of edifice-complex—appears oblivious to the fact that hundreds of thousands of dollars of tax and hard-earned tuition money continues to leak out the back doors of the ivy-covered halls of learning.
7. Judy Green. Louisville Metro Councilwoman Judy Green might fit well in a Chicago-style political system, but her corrupt self-dealing and dissembling have no place here in River City. She belongs in jail.
6. Louisville Metro Animal Services. It seems like criminal behavior out at the City Dog Pound never results in anything more serious than a resignation. Putting a few miscreants behind bars (or, if you like, squalid unvented cages) might serve as an object lesson to the remaining staff, and result in some needed changes in that sad operation.
5. Kentucky’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services. A recent Inspector General review  of KCHFS found evidence of criminal conduct surrounding the removal of children and the Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) process. “Based on our findings, we believe it would be imprudent to ignore the serious nature of the issues identified herein by only addressing individual misconduct while failing to fully address the conditions that ripened the environment for individual misconduct,” said the OIG. The KCHFS is the most corrupt, mismanaged agency in Kentucky’s state government, and the crooks need to be flushed out.
4. Jackie Hollingsworth. Despite reams of evidence indicating that she misappropriated almost $15,000 from the Louisville Black Police Officers Organization (LBPOO), she was merely fired from her job as a Louisville Metro police officer. Since there is no statute of limitations for felonies in Kentucky, there’s still time for a special prosecutor to nail Jackie.
3. Chrystal Marlowe. Another bad apple recently fired from the Louisville Metro police force, Chrystal was accused of falsifying evidence in the prosecutions of a number of innocent citizens. Does anyone believe this is not criminal behavior?
2. Jerry Abramson’s slush fund. Our former mayor—now a candidate for Lieutenant Governor—spent a couple of hundred grand of taxpayer money on such varied items as cocktail parties, fancy dinners, and tickets to sporting events; generally without any audit trails or other legally required documentation. We’d all feel a lot better if a special prosecutor looked into these expenditures, and assured us that no laws were broken.
1. Internecine investigation. And, finally, the No. 1 thing Attorney General Jack Conway should appoint a special prosecutor to investigate: His brother’s drug case.
NOTE: Our wonderful editor (May he live a long, fruitful, and blessed life) suggested this topic, but constraints of space limited us to “Jack Conway’s Top Ten.” Readers are encouraged to comment upon our many omissions.
Louisville.com's The Arena section features opinions from active participants in the city's politics. Their viewpoints are not those of Louisville.com (a website is an inanimate object and, as such, has no opinions).