It's understandable that Stumbo was disturbed by such a review. When completed, it's likely to expose the hypocrisy of his whole investigation of the Fletcher administration by proving that for decades Democratic government put its own in state government jobs.
That's why Fletcher's pardons Monday were merited. In a vicious, politically motivated attack on the administration of a duly elected governor, Stumbo sought to put good people behind bars basically for trying to do what the Democrats always have done - put a few of their people in state jobs.
"What we're talking about in this investigation is people recommending friends and relatives who may have worked in a political campaign," Fletcher said in his speech Monday night. "... mistakes were made, but at no time was there a cynical scheme to displace thousands of hard working state employees."
Thanks to the extensive publication of e-mails exchanged by Fletcher administration officials, it is pretty clear that some improper hiring decisions were made - as Fletcher admitted in his speech. But complaints about these actions should have been heard by the state personnel board, not a Frankfort grand jury. By choosing to seek criminal charges, rather than administration action to right what wrongs occurred, Stumbo blew the whole issue out of proportion.
The attorney general has oft denied it, but we remain convinced that he sought political advantage for himself and his party by trying to criminalize political practices. Fletcher was right not to let Stumbo's abuse of his prosecutorial power destroy his administration. The people of Kentucky deserve to have the governor they elected focusing on their needs and goals, rather than the trumped up charges of a political rival.