Sunday, January 11, 2004

Fletcher appoints 3 to state positions

Supporter's spouse to serve on panel

The Associated Press

FRANKFORT - The husband of the Democratic Franklin County judge-executive who crossed party lines during the governor's race to support Gov. Ernie Fletcher has been appointed to the Alcoholic Beverage Commission.

Fletcher appointed John Barton, Teresa Barton's husband, to the three-member panel this week. The board governs distilled spirits in the state.

Previously, John Barton had served as an investigative branch manager in the agency's enforcement division. His term expires in January 2008.

Teresa Barton said Fletcher offered her a job in his administration, but she decided to stay as judge-executive.

The governor also will be appointing Louisville lawyer Lloyd Cress, a longtime business representative on environmental regulations, as commissioner of the Department for Environmental Protection, Fletcher spokeswoman Jeannie Lausche said. As commissioner, Cress will be in charge of regulating the industry he once represented.

Tom FitzGerald, an environmental lawyer and head of the Kentucky Resources Council, said he thought Cress may have to recuse himself from some decisions. His son, Lloyd "Rusty" Cress Jr., is a lobbyist and has represented some businesses regulated by the state.

Meanwhile, Fletcher also appointed Mardi Montgomery, a Danville teacher, as the deputy secretary of education. Montgomery was an English teacher at Boyle County High School and was named the Kentucky Teacher of the Year in 2000.

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