Sunday, March 04, 2001

Judge rules court clerk test is legal

The Associated Press

        COVINGTON — A lawsuit last year that challenged a state test for circuit court clerk eligibility has been dismissed by a federal judge.

        U.S. District Judge William O. Bertelsman, in a ruling filed in Covington, acknowledged there were problems with the test that was given last year but still found the exam to be constitutional.

        Judge Bertelsman said Kentucky has a right to give the test to ensure that candidates for circuit court clerk are qualified for the job. A circuit court clerk oversees lawsuits and felony and misdemeanor records in each county.

        Democrat Ken Johnson, of Alexandria, filed the lawsuit last year after he was initially denied a spot on the May primary ballot because he didn't pass the circuit clerk's test. State officials recalculated Mr. Johnson's score and later found that he passed the test, and his name was placed on the primary ballot.

        Former Campbell County Judge-executive Lloyd K. Rogers failed the test and filed a federal lawsuit, too. Mr. Rogers and Mr. Johnson declined to pursue the federal case.


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