A Kentucky Republican Party official, whom Gov. Ernie Fletcher let have a Capitol office and taxpayer-funded secretary, and another party official were indicted Thursday on charges of conspiracy to commit political discrimination.
State GOP Treasurer Dave Disponett, who is also on the state Board of Elections, and Bowling Green attorney J. Marshall Hughes were indicted on misdemeanor charges for allegedly plotting with administration officials and others to base rank-and-file personnel decisions on candidates' political affiliations.
The charges are the first outside of state government in the investigation that has been going on since May. Disponett and Hughes are some of Fletcher's close supporters and their names have appeared frequently in e-mail exchanges about job candidates.
Disponett is a Lawrenceburg builder. For more than the first year of Fletcher's administration, Disponett had an office in the state Capitol, as well as a state-provided secretary and prime parking place. Fletcher has said Disponett consulted on hiring political appointees.
Hughes is a Bowling Green lawyer, whose firm has offices around the state and specializes in injury lawsuits. He is listed on the party Web site as being a district chairman.
Disponett and Hughes were at-large Kentucky delegates to last year's Republican National Convention.
Previously, the grand jury has indicted 11 current or former members of Fletcher's administration. After the first nine were indicted, Fletcher issued blanket pardons intended to cover all those charged in the past or future.