Some thoughts on Impeaching the Governor:
First let me say, as I have a few other times, I’m not a lawyer.
Second it does look like Governor Fletcher, Chief Justice Lambert and Special Franklin District Judge Dave E. Melcher have managed to remove any belief in the fairness of the Kentucky court system.
By there actions they have established that the Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, while in office, is above the law. The Republican activist judges of Kentucky have effectively created a Banana Republic where the chief executive officer cannot be held accountable.
Melcher’s ruling stated the Governor must first be impeached or be out of office before he is responsible for his actions.
Now I don’t understand how this is consistent with Kentucky Revised Statues that state:
63.130 Proceedings do not bar criminal action.
The removal of an officer from office under the provisions of KRS 63.090 to 63.120 shall not be a bar to criminal prosecution for misfeasance, malfeasance, or willful neglect in discharge of official duties.
Effective: October 1, 1942
History: Recodified 1942 Ky. Acts ch. 208, sec. 1, effective October 1, 1942, from Ky.
Stat. sec. 3766a-11.
If you can be held criminally accountable after an impeachment, why not before? Isn’t being accountable the same regardless of whether you are in office or not? Like I said I’m not a lawyer.
Ok, so we have to impeach Ernie before we can hold him accountable.
The intestinal fortitude of the Democratic House Leadership makes that a non-starter. And all of the current members, Democrat and Republican, who have run on law and order or on moral values will be hiding in the corners to stay as far away from this as possible.
This pack of weasels will be chanting the mantra of “Let the judiciary process run its course.”
Translation: If we wait long enough Ernie will be out of office and we won’t have to take a stand. We can later claim that we would have impeached him if the judicial process hadn’t been so slow.
So what’s the answer?
Kentucky Revised Statues provides a lever to get the House of Representatives moving:
63.030 Petition for impeachment.
(1) Any person may, by written petition to the House of Representatives, signed by himself, verified by his own affidavit and the affidavits of such others as he deems necessary, and setting forth the facts, pray the impeachment of any officer.
(2) The House shall refer the petition to a committee, with power to send for persons and papers, to report thereon.
Effective: October 1, 1942
History through 1968: Recodified 1942 Ky. Acts ch. 208, sec. 1, effective October 1,
1942, from Ky. Stat. sec. 2172.
Yes folks that said any person. That’s you, me or anyone. But there is a catch.
63.070 Costs of proceeding upon petition.
(1) In a proceeding for impeachment or removal by address, if the committee reports
against the petition and the report is not overruled by the house petitioned, the petitioner shall be liable to witnesses and to the accused for the costs of investigation before the committee. These costs shall be taxed by the clerk of the house appointing the committee.
(2) In an impeachment proceeding prosecuted before the Senate, if the accused is acquitted the petitioner shall pay the costs of the accused; and if the accused is convicted, he shall pay the petitioner the costs incurred in behalf of the prosecution. Costs mentioned in this subsection shall be taxed by the clerk of the Senate.
(3) Costs taxed pursuant to this section may be recovered on motion, after five (5) days' notice, in a Circuit Court.
Effective: January 2, 1978
History: Amended 1976 (1st Extra. Sess.) Ky. Acts ch. 14, sec. 22, effective January 2,
1978. -- Recodified 1942 Ky. Acts ch. 208, sec. 1, effective October 1, 1942, from
Ky. Stat. secs. 2172, 2174.
This means you had better have deep pockets if you want to start this process. This pretty well eliminates most people.
However there is an answer.
“Charles Wells, executive director of the Kentucky Association of State Employees, said his organization is going to press the legislature to impeach Fletcher.”
I don’t know how deep KASE’s pockets are but I hope this is a serious attempt at holding Fletcher accountable and not just union posturing. If we want hot air we can listen to Jody Richards.