I always loved the “I was too stupid to know it was wrong” legal defense, particularly when it’s used by well educated, knowledgeable political insiders.
From the Herald Leader:
“FRANKFORT - As the special grand jury investigating state hiring convenes again today, a pattern has emerged among the eight aides from Gov. Ernie Fletcher's administration who already have been indicted.
None had any significant experience with complicated state personnel laws before joining Fletcher's administration. In fact, six had never held a Kentucky government job. The other two had only local government backgrounds.”
The defense is basically, yes we did it your honor, but those laws are so complex we didn’t know what we were doing was wrong.
Given how the administration has handled the entire merit system fiasco, they may really be so stupid they can’t understand Kentucky Revise Statues. But the other contributing factor has been the arrogance of the administration.
This kind of arrogance disregards the talent and experience of state merit employees, those employees who do know how the system should work.
The problem with this administration is not the merit system “lifers”; it’s the “temporary help” that arrived after that last election.
Stupidity and arrogance is not a good combination in any endeavor, but it is even worst when practiced in the public arena
Again from the Herald Leader article:
“In a February 2005 Personnel Cabinet newsletter, Commonwealth Communique, Wilson said the main difference between private-sector and state government hiring is that the latter is dictated by laws and regulations ‘so there's less flexibility.’
‘If you fail to follow a policy in the private sector, you haven't broken a law like you have in state government,’ Wilson said in the newsletter. ‘It's also like working in a fishbowl with everything open to public record. ‘ "
If you don’t want to be in a fish bowl work some place else.
When you are spending taxpayer dollars and are making decisions that impact every citizen’s life you should be in a fish bowl. It’s called accountability.
Public servants are just that – PUBLIC SERVANTS. This administration seems to have forgotten that fact, if they ever knew it at all.