Tuesday, January 14, 2003

Patton's aide has parting shots

The Associated Press

FRANKFORT - Crit Luallen, the chief operations officer of Gov. Paul Patton's administration, said she needed to get away from the mounting distractions of the job to concentrate on her own future.

Ms. Luallen said Mr. Patton's sex scandal has made it easier for critics of the administration to pile on and pick at small pieces, which has made it more difficult for her to perform her job.

Ms. Luallen said Monday she was personally disappointed in Mr. Patton's conduct and considered resigning when it became public in September but felt a responsibility to the administration.

Mr. Patton was told before the holidays that Ms. Luallen would be pondering her own future and she said she actually gave two weeks' notice on Jan. 2. Her last day will be Wednesday.

"The personal issues that came to light last fall have created an atmosphere where it is increasingly difficult for me to do my job effectively. I believe a change in direction is best for me at this time," she said.

Ms. Luallen, 50, who has been with Mr. Patton's administration since its beginning in December 1995, has made no decision about what she will do but added she would like to stay in the public arena.

Her political future, which once appeared bright, was at least temporarily stymied by the scandal, Ms. Luallen said.

No candidate this year can afford to be closely identified with the Patton administration, Ms. Luallen said.

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