A Democrat leader in the state House is blasting the Blunt Administration for abuse of power in the latest chapter of the state Agriculture Director saga. Governor Blunt’s office has admitted that using the Highway Patrol last spring to investigate workplace misconduct allegations against state Agriculture Director Fred Ferrell was illegal, outside the bounds of what the patrol can and cannot do. Assistant leader of the Democrats in the state House, Representative Paul LeVota (D-Independence), says the House does have an obligation to make sure the law is being followed and that this never happens again. Blunt Administration officials point out the patrol has been allowed to do what Blunt’s people are calling similar “background checks” when vetting nominees for state offices. But LeVota says this is different and the law governing patrol investigations needs to be reviewed.As far as the original issue with Ferrell, the governor’s office has never publicly said what prompted the investigation and subsequent two-week suspension of the state Agriculture Director.
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