Sunday, November 05, 2000

Henry denies wife's assistant funded by taxpayers

Woman's on his staff, he says; position was vacant, not new

By Patrick Crowley
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        COVINGTON — Lt. Gov. Steve Henry on Saturday strongly disputed midweek press reports that his new wife — former Miss America Heather French Henry — has an assistant with a $51,000 salary paid by taxpayers.

        Mr. Henry, in Covington with his wife to campaign for Democratic state Senate candidate Jaimie Henson, said the woman hired is working on his staff and filled a position that had been open for three months.

        “This is not a new position created just for Heather,” Mr. Henry said in an interview before a political event at the American Legion Hall in Latonia. “Libbi Taylor is a member of my staff.”

        Ms. Taylor's duties will include coordinating the couple's schedule and handling requests for personal appearances for Mrs. French Henry. She has received 700 requests, most of which are in Kentucky, in the last five months.

        Ms. Taylor will also help run the lieutenant governor's mansion in Frankfort and be the contact person on the issues Mrs. French Henry advocates, including support for homeless veterans and other veterans' issues.

        “Heather is going to be a very active second lady,” said Mr. Henry, who plans to run in the 2003 Democratic primary for governor.

        Republicans dismissed Mrs. French Henry's visit to Covington as pure politics.

        “She wasn't here for Jaimie Henson,” said Marc Wilson, the campaign manager for Sen. Jack Westwood, the Erlanger Republican being challenged by Mrs. Henson.

        “She was here because her new boss, Gov. (Paul) Patton, told her to be here,” Mr. Wilson said.


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