The Republican Party of Kentucky just put out a statement calling for the resignation of Governor Steve Beshear’s Chief of Staff, Adam Edelen.
Here’s what Steve Robertson, RPK Chair, had to say:
“This Administration came to office on the promise to “clean up Frankfort” and strictly follow personnel and hiring laws in state government.
Emails on state government servers now prove that the Governor’s Chief of Staff Adam Edelen was behind the illegal hiring of Ralph Coldiron at an inflated salary. Edelen conducted personal business using state government resources and then unilaterally hired his business partner at an illegal and unjustified salary.
In order to protect Edelen, a spokesman for the Governor now claims the Governor was ‘unaware of the law’ but is silent as to whether the Governor was aware of Edelen’s activities. Ignorance of the law is not a defense to breaking it.
I now call on Adam Edelen to resign his position and the Attorney General’s office to launch an immediate investigation into Edelen’s illegal activity.”
First, the facts. Adam Edelen didn’t technically authorize (we don’t know what we did behind the scenes) Ralph Coldiron’s hiring. He didn’t sign the documents. And he didn’t approve or ask for Coldiron’s salary increase (that we can prove with public records). That’s apparently Coldiron’s doing, as he listed the salary he wanted to receive on his employment documents.
The emails Robertson mentions don’t prove anything. They only raise suspicion that Edelen was responsible. Fact of the matter is Edelen wasn’t at Homeland Security when Coldiron was hired. Thomas Preston is the guy at Homeland who hired him.
And if the governor’s office was unaware of the requirement that a board set and approve Coldiron’s salary, why had every appointment in recent memory been handled in the same manner? Why did the Fletcher Administration handle appointments the same way?
Admittedly, they’re all connected and this reeks of impropriety. But to call for Edelen’s resignation? That’s silly. Issue a public apology for causing a headache? Sure. But resign? Silly and a waste of time.
The governor’s office (and we’re obviously no fans of dishonest Steve Beshear or the hypocritical crap Edelen has pulled lately) went out of its way to resolve this problem. The governor issued an order that more information than required by law would be necessary on financial disclosure forms. And Coldiron resigned. It’d be a different story if no action had been taken.
All that said, Adam Edelen needs to seize this moment and finally right the governor’s sinking ship. He can no longer allow the governor or anyone in the administration to say one thing while very publicly doing another. The petty politicking and bad-mouthing needs to stop. They need to stop meddling in with the House and Senate during this time of crisis and focus on running the executive office of the governor once and for all.
And playing bloggers (wonder who Jake could mean here?) against the press (Joe Gerth)? Yeah, that needs to stop. Because this story still has serious legs.
Otherwise problems like these will continue to plague the administration and Edelen’s political future.
P.S. It’d also be great if the governor’s office hadn’t repeatedly told me that Jennifer Moore was out at the Kentucky Democratic Party after the messes she caused– and that Jeremy Horton would be gone– only to deny it to the press, allowing Moore to remain for months. Because those actions certainly spoke louder than their words, directly harming the governor’s standing among Kentucky Democrats.