Friday, February 09, 2001

Bill would reallocate money

Lawmaker's proposal aims at aide hired by Lt. Gov. Henry

By Patrick Crowley
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        FRANKFORT — A Northern Kentucky lawmaker thinks he has come up with a better way for Lt. Gov. Steve Henry to spend the taxpayers' money.

        Rep. Joe Fischer, R-Fort Thomas, has filed a bill in the General Assembly that would reallocate money Mr. Henry is paying a scheduling aide to the Governor's Office of Veterans' Affairs.

        “I think that's a far more appropriate use of the money,” Mr. Fischer said Thursday.

        Late last year Mr. Henry hired aide Libbi Taylor at an annual salary of $51,900. While Mr. Henry said Ms. Taylor was hired to perform various duties, including scheduling, several media reports indicated her main function was to serve as a personal assistant to Mr. Henry's wife, former Miss America Heather French of Maysville.

        Mr. Henry denied those reports, but he recently moved Ms. Taylor to a new position with more defined duties as his deputy chief of staff.

        Mr. Fischer said the money is being squandered and should be spent on veterans' affairs, the main cause that Mrs. French Henry is associated with.

        “The appropriation he made to hire this extra person ... was, I thought, wasteful and unnecessary,” Mr. Fischer said, “and I think there are more needy and deserving programs in the state budget.

        “And I thought the most appropriate way of reallocating those funds was to spend them on veterans affairs,” he said.


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