Office of the Attorney General
Attorney General Stumbo Files Lawsuit Challenging Partisan Political University Board Appointments

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, September 12, 2007  
Contact Information:  Corey Bellamy, 502-696-5643 Office  

Attorney General Greg Stumbo announced today that he has filed a Petition for Declaration of Rights with the Franklin Circuit Court to enforce the law requiring fair and balanced appointments by the Governor to Kentucky’s University Boards.

“I advised the Governor that the law requiring non-partisan appointments is plain and that he is bound by it. I asked him to voluntarily bring our state university boards back into balance, and avoid litigation,” said Stumbo. “Unfortunately, the Governor refused, leaving me no choice but to enforce Kentucky’s law in the Courts.”

The Attorney General was approached two weeks ago by Representative Frank Rasche, the Chairman of the House Education Committee, with concerns that the Governor was making partisan political appointments to Kentucky’s university boards in violation of law.

The Attorney General’s Office began an investigation by examining documents provided by the non-partisan Legislative Research Commission (LRC). The LRC found that the Board at UK is out of balance due to the appointment of 3 Republican trustees not authorized by law and that the U of L Board has 2 unauthorized Republican Trustees.

The Attorney General’s continuing investigation showed a disproportionate number of Republican appointments at Western, Eastern, Northern, Murray and Kentucky State. The Governor has made 50 appointments during his administration, 33 of them Republican.

“The Governor must not play politics with the educational future of our young people,” Stumbo said. “The Boards that run our schools must faithfully reflect the choices and political makeup of the public.”

Attorney General Stumbo said the lawsuit will not affect the day to day business at state universities.

“I chose the most straightforward way to enforce the law because I know Kentucky’s universities want this matter resolved fast, and so do I,” Stumbo stated, “I told the Court in this petition that we want to give the Governor another chance to correct the flaws in his appointment process.”

Link to Petition for Declaration of Rights:

Link to pie chart visual aid:

Link to balance visual aid: