On September 18, Governor Paul Patton of Kentucky held a news conference, wife by his side, to deny having an affair with nursing home owner Tina Conner. Patton is a Democratic bigfoot, chairman of the National Governors Association, and was expected to challenge former National League pitching great and current incumbent Senator Jim Bunning in 2004. Ms. Conner has brought a sexual harassment lawsuit claiming she had a two-year affair with the governor and that he sicced state regulators on her nursing home after she broke off the affair in October. The state regulators assert that the 163-page list of deficiencies found in Ms. Conner’s nursing home in December, two months after she broke off the relationship with Patton, resulted from an occupant’s compaint. Ms. Conner is now divorced and her nursing home has filed for bankruptcy protection.
On September 20, Governor Patton admitted to “an inappropriate personal relationship” with Ms. Conner, but denied that he sicced state regulators, or state regulators working “directly” for him, on her nursing home. He does admit that his denial of their affair was “another mistake.” This story adds the following: “Conner’s lawsuit against Patton, filed Wednesday, alleges he provided extraordinary state assistance to her and her business because of the sexual relationship. She claimed that after she ended the relationship Patton made ‘lewd’ calls to her and that he made harassing calls after she ended the relationship. The phone records show 440 calls from phones in the governor’s offices to Conner’s numbers, but do not indicate who placed the calls.”
Incidentally, Ms. Conner’s nursing home is located in Clinton.
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