April 21, 2014

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Personnel Board opens investigation of Kentucky agriculture department

The Kentucky Personnel Board voted unanimously Friday to open an investigation into alleged improprieties at the Department of Agriculture under former commissioner Richie Farmer.

The investigation stems from a lengthy audit conducted by state Auditor Adam Edelen that found a host of irregularities in the department during Farmer's administration, including instances when state hiring laws allegedly were circumvented and certain employees were given bonuses.

Edelen's findings were forwarded to several agencies, including the state Personnel Board, which investigates improprieties involving state merit — or non-political — employees.