Friday, July 23, 2004

Candidate's daughter quits state job

The Associated Press

FRANKFORT - The daughter of state Sen. Tom Buford, a congressional candidate, has quit her job in the state Office of Financial Institutions in the wake of her boss' firing and investigations of the office.

Stephanie Buford, 29, resigned her job Monday from the office where she worked for six years.

She was an assistant to Barbara Nash, director of the office's Administrative Services Division, until Nash was fired Feb. 23 on suspicion of embezzling tens of thousands of dollars through improper expense accounting.

Buford said Wednesday that she quit because of stress that followed Nash's firing and subsequent investigations of the office by Kentucky State Police and the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet, which oversees the office.

Buford's time sheets, travel vouchers and expense reports were taken as part of the investigations.

"I've been accused of several things which I have not done," said Buford, whose father is the Republican nominee for the 6th Congressional District in the Nov. 2 election, facing Democratic incumbent Ben Chandler.

She declined to elaborate.

"I'm just glad to be gone and not there anymore," Buford said.

Nash's firing was announced by Gov. Ernie Fletcher at an April 1 news conference.

Franklin County Commonwealth's Attorney Larry Cleveland said he's trying to negotiate a plea deal for Nash with her attorney, Larry Roberts of Lexington. Asked to respond, Roberts said only that "we're cooperating with the commonwealth."

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