Frankfort, KY – The state Personnel Board has voted to begin an investigation into whether the Department of Agriculture illegally placed two political appointees in protected positions. The unanimous vote was taken during a meeting on Friday.
Vice Chairman Larry B. Gillis urged fellow board members to approve the probe to determine whether the workers were illegally transferred from positions as division directors into lesser jobs protected by the state's merit system.
Gillis said the transfers look suspicious.
Department of Agriculture attorney Nicole Liberto defended the transfers, saying proper protocol was followed.
The investigation is to determine if the workers were moved so that they wouldn't lose their jobs when a new agriculture commissioner takes office in January.
The current commissioner, Richie Farmer, is term-limited and running for lieutenant governor.