From the Herald-Leader:
“Attorney General Greg Stumbo confirmed this morning that his office has been negotiating with Ernie Fletcher to drop the misdemeanor charges against the Republican governor……..
He said it was "highly, highly unlikely that the governor would ever stand trial" and that negotiations seemed appropriate. A special grand jury Stumbo sought indicted Fletcher on May 11 on three charges that he violated state hiring laws.”
From the Courier-Journal:
"I think there probably will be something said today," Stumbo said. "We were able by inches to move forward, but nothing has been signed and nothing has been submitted to the court."But he said both sides want to resolve the case. "To enter into a plea agreement, that's the goal."
So the question I always have when things like this happen is why. What do both parties gain in this scenario?
For Ernie Fletcher the answer is pretty obvious this gives him a few months to recoup all the lost credibility he has last as a candidate. If Ernie and his inner circle had any political savvy the investigation would have been over in two weeks, but that didn’t happen. So this is better for Ernie than running with the label of “indicted” or standing trial in Franklin County or having to pardon himself. It’s the best of a lot of bad choices.
For Greg Stumbo the major win here is that he has damaged Fletcher to the point he probably can’t be elected. To keep the indicted tag on Ernie helps every Democrat running except Greg Stumbo. If the case against Fletcher continues Stumbo has a perceived conflict of interest. With the case over he can say he did his job as Attorney General and have run for governor.
The only thing that might stop Stumbo from running for Governor is Ben Chandler announcing he is in the race.
For the good of the Democratic Party and his own career, Chandler needs to make a decision and he needs to let Stumbo, Jerry Lundergan, Crit Luallen and the other potential candidates know where he’s going.