Monday Evening Update Dept of Crazy is Real

Please accept our apologies for being slow today. Too much business to handle, not enough hours in the day. Also, who is buying a new laptop for us? And who is gifting us a new iPhone?

Lunsford’s second quarter numbers are out and the McConnell camp is huffy. [PolWatchers]

Bill Cox quit as the state’s Revenue Commissioner over an “honest difference of opinion” with Beshear administration officials. Cox told Mark Hebert that he was promised Revenue would be elevated to cabinet status but it never happened. And some other juicy business. [Mark Hebert]

Governor Steve Beshear says Barack Obama has all kinds of work to do in Kentucky. Before any Democrats get all huffy, it’s, you know, the truth. Beshear said he hopes to get Obama to Kentucky several times throughout the general election campaign. [PolitickerKY]

This afternoon Andrew Horne sent an email blast on behalf of Bruce Lunsford that attacked Mitch McConnell’s reprehensible actions re: veterans and health care for vets. In 2008 he voted against the G.I. Bill. Last year he voted against legislation to give soldiers longer breaks between deployment. And he repeatedly votes against veterans’ health care programs like treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. [E-mail Blast]

Ryan Alessi has a Q&A with new Beshear Chief of Staff Adam Edelen. [H-L]

Looks like the mainstream media is now trying to keep up with us. WHAS11 has produced a story about some of the documents (related to the Felner-UofL investigation) we published this morning (we got them way before the media did). It’s mostly a rehashing of what we’ve written about for weeks. But check it out. [WHAS11]

Don’t forget our earlier story about Robert Felner and the University of Louisville. We published all kinds of material that is forcing the university to open up and forcing the mainstream media to finally pay attention. [Page One]

Robert Felner, the University of Louisville, Open Records Requests Galore – an Interesting Look at the Situation

We’re not about to assume anything about Robert Felner, the former Dean of the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Louisville. Felner, of course, is currently under federal investigation. Since we’re not making assumptions, we figure it’s best to make some (some, not all, because not everything is relevant) records and information obtained during open records requests available to our readers.

The easiest way to dig into this information is to share with you exactly what we’ve received from the University of Louisville’s Open Records Officer. In some instances we received summaries of documents and in others we received the actual documents.

Hopefully this information provides a glimpse into life at the CEHD leading up to the infamous vote of no-confidence. It may also give you a loose idea of the dark cloud that is still hanging over the University of Louisville.

Here we go. Grievances summarized:

1. U of L is in possession of records of a sexual harassment grievance filed by a CEHD graduate student against CEHD Dean Robert Felner in 2005. The U of L affirmative action/employee relations office in the human resources department “found insufficient evidence to conclude the university*s policy on sexual harassment was violated.”

2. U of L is in possession of records of a faculty grievance filed by a CEHD faculty member against Karen Karp, chair, CEHD department of teaching & learning, and Dean Felner. On 6/6/05 the U of L faculty grievance committee recommended the provost “affirm the 2003 Merit Review” of the grievant. It found that “the unsatisfactory ratings in service and research in the 2003 Merit Review of [the grievant] were not a result of improper bias which influenced the decision-maker’s judgment.”

Read the other 30 juicy pieces of information after the jump…

Read moreRobert Felner, the University of Louisville, Open Records Requests Galore – an Interesting Look at the Situation

Felner Scandal Finally Hits Comment on Kentucky

What’s with Nancy Rodriguez of the Courier-Journal telling Ferrell Wellman on Comment on Kentucky that the federal investigation of Robert Felner and the University of Louisville only involves a $600,000+ grant? That couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s but a small portion of the investigation according to our sources and, well, the other media outlets that have reported on this matter. No, Nancy didn’t come out and say, “Oh, this is what it’s all about.” – but it’s definitely implied that the grant is the main focus of the federal investigation.

Just because you wrote the story about the grant that was supposed to benefit Jefferson County Public Schools doesn’t mean you can continually report that that’s the extent of the investigation. Because we’ve reported time and time again– as have other outlets– that there’s way more going down. Journalistic integrity falls out the door when you ignore the rest of the story

Interesting that Wellman would credit Rodriguez for being on this story for “some time now” (not exactly true) while ignoring the outlets which brought this scandal to the public: Page One and the Kenosha News. And in television, WHAS11.

I guess we shouldn’t be too hard on Nancy. I mean, she’s not one of the four reporters in Louisville who have told us repeatedly that: the Felner story isn’t a big deal, no one wants to hear about it, that it’s not worth the media’s time to investigate.

Oh Snap Monday! We’re All Gonna Go Broke

George W. Bush has something wrong with him. Is the man retarded? Republicans, please teach him how to save face. [Ditch Mitch]

The Executive Branch Ethics Commission is proceeding with the investigation of four Fletcher administration folks. Jim Adams, Basil Turbyfill, Dan Druen and Darrell Brock. [C-J]

It’s always interesting to read AP stories about things like the Felner investigation. Especially when the stories are hacked together with information that sometimes isn’t even fit for publication on a blog. [The Journal Times]

A Wisconsin paper really gets it. Most of a grant has been spent on Felner’s friends, $70K+ for himself and travel. All kinds of other money. Yadda yadda. It’s everything you’ve already read. But it’s better than the AP piece. [Journal Sentinel]

While Mitch McConnell raises all kinds of skrilla from special interests, Bruce Lunsford is walking a day in your shoes. I mean, for real. [Pat Crowley]

Was a mountaintop removal trip sabotaged? Ben Chandler and Norm Dicks were scheduled to tour eastern Kentucky on Saturday but never made it out of Washington. [News & Tribune]

Former White House Press Secretary and Fox Noise personality Tony Snow died at age 53. [WaPo]

UofL President Reveals More on Felner

University of Louisville President Jim Ramsey reveals more information about the federal investigation at UofL involving former education dean Robert Felner.

“Uh, I really cain’t comment other than to say that when we were made aware that there, uh, might be some irregularities, we started (an) investigation and turned it over to the, uh, U.S. Attorney.”  — UofL President Jim Ramsey

So there was no internal audit. UofL administrators were merely made aware of potential problems and then called in the feds. That puts that story to bed.

Here’s a clip from WHAS11:

Anne Northup Praises Robert Felner

The $694K grant we told you about last night? WHAS11’s Renee Murphy is on it.

Anne Northup says it was for Jefferson County Public Schools. But JCPS officials say they know nothing about it.

Here’s what Northup had to say:

“Dean Felner did a good job at UofL. He really worked hard in the Department of education. Obviously it is very upsetting that this is going on.”

Get that? Anne Northup praised Robert Felner.

Here’s the Northup clip:

Visit for the full story. (We’ll link to it once it’s up on the web)

UPDATE: WHAS11’s story is finally up. Read it/see it HERE.

Evening Update on the Felner Situation

Nancy IS doing some investigative work. It’s about damn time! And no, I don’t take back anything I said. It’s been THREE weeks. It took three weeks to come up with a major story? Give me a break.

Anyway, here’s part of Nancy’s story:

A $694,000 project grant managed by former University of Louisville education dean Robert Felner is part of a criminal investigation into whether federal funds were mishandled.

Documents obtained from U of L in an open-records request show that the grant’s purpose was to create a center that would be a “unique collaborative effort” with the Kentucky Education Department and Jefferson County Public Schools, among others, and would help schools meet testing goals of the federal No Child Left Behind law.

Yet no one with the Jefferson County Public Schools or the state Education Department know about the grant, or that such a center was created, according to interviews with state and district officials.


The largest portion of that money — $452,533 — was paid to subcontracted groups, many of whom had ties to Felner.

Got that? $694,000 grant potentially flushed away by Robert Felner. $450K+ went to subcontracted groups with ties to Felner. But the school district the grant was for had no clue of its existence? Make sure you read the rest of the story.

In the mean time, WHAS11’s Mark Hebert got an interview with University of Louisville President Jim Ramsey who praised Robert Felner on-camera. Go here to watch it.

Here’s what Ramsey had to say:

“He did a, uh, really good job in moving the University of Louisville forward. I can’t comment on, you know, whether anything was done that’s criminal or inappropriate. We’ll let the process determine that.”

He went on to say:

“Mistakes happen in any organization, uh, but, uh, we’ll, and if there are ways we can strengthen our internal controls, we’ll, we’ll always be, uh, committed to doing that.”

When asked if he’d found anything in the Felner case that stuck out like a sore thumb, Ramsey responded:

“Well, no, not yet, because the investigation’s not done.”

Oh, and Ramsey told Hebert that it wasn’t an internal UofL audit that got the investigation going.