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Governor Paul E. Patton

Paul E. Patton served as the 59th Governor of Kentucky from 1995 to 2003. Thanks to an amendment to the state constitution passed during his first term, he was the first governor to serve consecutive terms as governor. He was re–elected in 1999. The amendment limits the governor to two terms in office; so he was unable to run again in 2003.

Patton, a democrat, was born in Lawrence County in 1937. He spent twenty years in the coal business before becoming involved in government in 1979 when he appointed as deputy secretary of the transportation cabinet by Gov. John Y. Brown, Jr. Patton was elected Judge—Executive of Pike County in 1982. He ran for governor in 1991, but lost in the primary. He served as lieutenant governor under Gov. Brereton C. Jones from 1991—1995. Additionally, Gov. Jones appointed Patton as secretary of the Economic Development Cabinet.

The final year of Gov. Patton’s administration was racked by scandal after it was revealed he was having an affair with a woman named Tina Conner. Patton was accused of manipulating the Transportation Cabinet in order to have Conner’s business approved as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise—which would have entitled the business to special consideration in federally funded projects.

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Related news topics: [2001 Regular Session] [2002 Regular Session] [2003 Regular Session]


Paul Patton News Items

[US 25E]
US 25E Becomes Daniel Boone-Cumberland Gap Wilderness Trail
Posted: 10-Sep-2005 9:43PM CDT

Gov. Fletcher recently signed documents naming US 25E from Corbin to Middlesboro the Daniel Boone-Cumberland Gap Wilderness Trail. Controversy arose in 2003 when outgoing Gov. Paul Patton (a Democrat) renamed the Daniel Boone Parkway in honor of sitting U.S. Congressman Hal Rogers (a Republican).

More information: WKYT: Daniel Boone to get back on the road (Aug. 8, 2005) [Outside Link], Associated Press: Daniel Boone's name to go on Highway U.S. 25E (Aug. 9, 2005) [Outside Link], Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communication Office: Governor Ernie Fletcher signs Executive Order naming southeastern Kentucky road after Daniel Boone (Aug. 9, 2005) [Outside Link]

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[Hal Rogers-Daniel Boone Parkway]
Daniel Boone’s Descendants Unhappy with State’s Politicians
Posted: 7-Feb-2005 2:15AM CST

Descendants of Daniel Boone feel slighted by Kentucky politicians. First Paul Patton had the Daniel Boone Parkway renamed the Hal Rogers Parkway, and then state legislature failed to either re-rename the Hal Rogers Parkway or rename another road in honor of Boone.

More information: Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer: Descendants of Daniel Boone feel insulted by politicians (Feb. 1, 2005) [Outside Link]

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
U.S. Attorney: Patton Investigation Over
Posted: 10-Feb-2004 4:50AM CST

U.S. Attorney Gregory Van Tatenhove said today that an investigation into former Gov. Patton’s involvement in having his mistress’ business approved as Disadvantage Business Enterprise is over. His former mistress, Tina Conner, was sentenced to probation today for mail fraud charges arising from the investigation.

The Disadvantage Business Enterprise program is designed to help minority owned businesses compete for transportation cabinet contract.

More information: Associated Press: U.S. attorney says investigation over (Feb. 9, 2004) [Outside Link], (Northern) Kentucky Post: Attorney: Patton will not be indicted (Feb. 9, 2004) [Outside Link], WKYT: Conner Request To Withdraw Plea Denied (Feb. 9, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
Conner Asks to Withdraw Guilty Plea
Posted: 8-Feb-2004 11:28PM CST

The scandal that just won.t die: Tina Conner, the former mistress of Gov. Patton, has filed a petition to withdraw her guilty plea to charges that she committed mail fraud to have her business approved by the transportation cabinet as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise.

More information: Courier-Journal: Conner Asks to Withdraw Guilty Plea (Feb. 7, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
Burlington Hopes to Get Federal Transportation Money Now that Patton is No Longer Governor
Posted: 29-Jan-2004 6:21PM CST

The Northern Kentucky suburb of Burlington is applying for a state-controlled federal transportation grant to refurbish its sidewalks. Boone County Administrator Jim Parsons indicated that he believes the county's chances of being awarded the grant are improved this year now that Gov. Patton is no longer in office. Last year's grant money went to fund a study of Interstate 66 in Pike County, Gov. Patton's home county.

More information: Cincinnati Enquirer: Burlington seeks sidewalk help (Jan. 29, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[US 119]
US 119 Ground Breaking on "Paul Patton Day" in Pike County
Posted: 6-Jan-2004 6:45AM CST

Ground breaking for the last section of the US 119 widening project in Pike County was celebrated as .Paul Patton Day. on Nov. 22, 2003 to honor the former governor.s contributions to Eastern Kentucky highway projects.

More information: WKYT: It's "Paul Patton Day" in Pike County (Nov. 22, 2003) [Outside Link], Lexington Herald-Leader: In Pike County, they came to praise Patton (Nov. 23, 2003) [Outside Link]

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
Patton Admits to Ethics Violations
Posted: 6-Jan-2004 6:43AM CST

Former Gov. Patton settled ethics charges by admitting to two of the four charges he faced from Executive Branch Ethics Committee. He agreed to pay a $5,000. He admitted to intervening in the approval of a company owned by his mistress Tina Conner as a disadvantaged business enterprise and to intervening in the promotion of a Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement officer who helped Conner out of a speeding ticket.

More information: Courier-Journal: Patton admits 2 charges (Nov. 17, 2003) [Outside Link]

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
Kentucky Post Editorial Looks at Highway Renamings
Posted: 1-Oct-2003 2:07AM CDT
Topics: Topic listing supressed. [28 topics related to this item]

The last few months have seen the renaming of two parkways and the AA Highway. The Kentucky Post editorialized the situation: Kentucky Post: The name game (Sept. 17, 2003) [Outside Link]

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
Patton's Scandal One Year Later
Posted: 1-Oct-2003 2:05AM CDT

A September 17 article in the Courier-Journal looked back at the costs of Governor Patton's scandal: Courier-Journal: One year later, Patton scandal's costs assessed; Conner faces tougher fight than governor (Sept. 17, 2003) [Outside Link]

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[Daniel Boone Parkway]
State Legislator Proposes Two Names for Hal Rogers Parkway; Patton Proposes Renaming US-25E to Honor Boone
Posted: 1-Oct-2003 2:03AM CDT

State Representative Brent Yonts has filed a resolution to place two names on the parkway connecting London and Hazard. Yonts proposes the parkway be officially known as both the Hal Rogers Parkway and the Daniel Boone Parkway. He hopes that the compromise proposal will please those wishing to keep Daniel Boone.s name on the parkway and still provide recognition for U.S. congressman Hal Rogers. Rep. Rogers helped secure federal money to remove tolls from the parkway; In May, Governor Paul Patton directed that the parkway be renamed as the Hal Rogers Parkway. Yonts. resolution cannot be voted on until the General Assembly convenes in January.

Meanwhile, Governor Patton proposed renaming US 25E between Corbin and Middlesboro to honor Daniel Boone. US 25E generally follows the route of Boone.s Wilderness Road. The road has been upgraded to four lanes over the pass 20 years.

More information: Courier-Journal: E. Kentucky parkway could get 2 names (Sept. 11, 2003) [Outside Link], Associated Press: Patton Makes Suggestion To Solve Parkway Uproar (Sept. 19, 2003) [Outside Link], Courier-Journal: Governor would name U.S.25E for Boone to defuse controversy (Sept. 20, 2003) [Outside Link]

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
Blue Grass Parkway to be Renamed for Martha Layne Collins
Posted: 17-Sep-2003 9:40AM CDT

At Gov. Patton's direction, the Blue Grass Parkway will be officially renamed the Martha Layne Collins Blue Grass Parkway in a ceremony to be held on Thursday. Martha Layne Collins was Kentucky's first (and currently only) woman governor. She was governor from 1983 to 1987. This leaves only the Audubon Parkway to have its original name.

More information: Associated Press: Blue Grass Parkway to be renamed in honor of Collins (Sept. 16, 2003) [Outside Link]

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[Louie B. Nunn Cumberland Parkway] [Daniel Boone Parkway]
Daniel Boone Descendants Furious over Parkway Name Change; Former Gov. Nunn Offers Cumberland Parkway as Compromise
Posted: 30-Aug-2003 6:52PM CDT

A group representing the descendants of Daniel Boone has launched a PR campaign to express their outrage over the renaming of the Daniel Boone Parkway as the Hal Rogers Parkway. For the first time, a spokesman for Gov. Patton admitted that the governor recommended the name change to the Transportation Cabinet.

Former Gov. Louie B. Nunn has offered a renaming compromise. He has proposed renaming the Cumberland Parkway in honor of Congressman Rogers. In 2000, the state legislature renamed the Cumberland Parkway the Louie B. Nunn Cumberland Parkway in honor of the former governor without his consent. Nunn says the signs on the parkway could easily be changed to honor Hal Rogers.

More information: Associated Press: Descendants furious over removal of Daniel Boone's name from Kentucky highway (Aug. 23, 2003) [Outside Link], Associated Press: Former governor offers compromise to restore Daniel Boone's name to Kentucky parkway (Aug. 27, 2003) [Outside Link]

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
Judges Dismisses Beckley's Lawsuit Against KYTC, Governor
Posted: 29-Aug-2003 7:21PM CDT

A Franklin County judge dismissed a lawsuit brought by Norris Beckley against the Transportation Cabinet and Gov. Patton. Beckley formerly headed the Transportation Cabinet's Office of Minority Affairs. He claimed that he was unfairly fired after his role in the Governor's sex scandal was revealed.

More information: Associated Press: Judge dismisses case against Transportation Cabinet, governor and others (Aug. 18, 2003) [Outside Link], WKYT: Suit Against Patton Dismissed (Aug. 18, 2003) [Outside Link]

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[Daniel Boone Parkway]
News of Daniel Boone Parkway Renaming Hits the National Presses
Posted: 8-Aug-2003 5:55AM CDT

On August 6, the Associated Press picked up the news of the Daniel Boone Parkway being renamed for Congressman Hal Rogers: Associated Press: Congressman's name takes place of Daniel Boone's on Kentucky parkway (Aug. 6, 2003) [Outside Link]

Sources as varied as The Guardian [Outside Link], a British newspaper, and The Washington Times [Outside Link] picked up the story.

Update Aug 8, 2003: The Courier-Journal has posted an editorial concerning the renaming: Courier-Journal: Boone vs. Rogers (Aug. 8, 2003) [Outside Link]

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
Transportation Cabinet Scandals
Posted: 8-Aug-2003 2:11AM CDT
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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
Scandal Coverage
Posted: 18-Jul-2003 5:42AM CDT

The transportation cabinet has run into a number of scandals of late. Here is a run down of articles related to the transportation cabinet's woes:

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[Louie B. Nunn Cumberland Parkway] [Daniel Boone Parkway]
Tolls Removed from Daniel Boone Parkway and Louie B. Nunn Cumberland Parkway; Daniel Boone Parkway Renamed Hal Rogers Parkway
Posted: 15-Jul-2003 9:17AM CDT

Midnight June 1, 2003 marked the end of tolls on the Louie B. Nunn Cumberland Parkway and the Daniel Boone Parkway. Transportation officials and U.S. Congressman Hal Rogers commemorated the occasion on June 9 at the London toll both on the Daniel Boone Parkway. At the ceremony, Congressman Rogers personally manned a bulldozer and knocked over one of the toll booths. It was also revealed at this ceremony that the Daniel Boone Parkway would be renamed the Hal Rogers Parkway.

Read more for more information about Hal Rogers, the removal of tolls, pictures of the parkways, the renaming of the Daniel Boone Parkway, and the controversy it sparked.

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[Kentucky's New License Plate]
Gov. Patton Defends New License Plates
Posted: 12-Jan-2003 4:22PM CST

Gov. Patton has defended the design of the new license plates by saying, "they don't put Rembrandts on the backs of cars." He also said that he personally had nothing to do with the design of the license plates, but that he does like it.

More information: Herald-Leader: Patton defends hiring and smiley-face plates (Jan. 7, 2003) [Outside Link]

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
Citizens in the Highway Industry Are Top Donors to Gov. Patton
Posted: 4-Mar-2002 9:45PM CST

The Courier-Journal reports in this Mar. 4, 2002 article [Outside Link] that the top donors to Gov. Patton's campaigns have been from the highway industry. The highest single donor has been John Stovall, who heads Road Builders Inc. in Muhlenberg County. Stovall and his wife have contributed $69,200 since the mid-1980s. When interviewed Stoval seemed surprised that he had topped the list.

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
Gov. Patton Testifies Before Congressional Committee to Request More Transportation Money for States
Posted: 2-Mar-2002 7:43AM CST

Information about Gov. Patton's testimony can be found in this press release [Outside Link]. This transcript [Outside Link] of his testimony is also available.

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
Kentucky Recommended Six Year Highway Plan for 2002 Released
Posted: 10-Feb-2002 12:22AM CST

Every two years a Six Year Highway Plan is prepared and approved by Kentucky's legislature. The 2002 Recommended Six Year Highway Plan [Outside Link] has been posted on the KYTC website. The KYTC is concerned that funding might not be available to complete all of the projects because a gas tax increase was not passed by the state legislature. Instead the legislature directed the Governor to use the highway reserve fund to pay for improvements. This fund will soon be depleted. This Courier-Journal article [Outside Link] and this KYTC press release [Outside Link] have more information about the Six Year Plan and the transportation budget.

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Updated: 10-Sep-2005 9:43PM CDT

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