Conway says cumulative 37 percent cuts will hamper ability to prosecute fraud

02/01/2012 09:08 AM

Attorney General Jack Conway’s office has been among the agency’s that has seen its budget slashed the most over the four years, forcing a reduction in staff and a slowing of services.

Specifically, Conway said another round of 8.4 percent cuts as proposed by Gov. Steve Beshear, would likely impair his staff’s ability to pursue civil cases that could bring in money to the state, such as Medicaid fraud cases.

In addition, Conway warned that some of the services, such as providing legal opinions or hearing officers, will be slowed or stunted as a result of the cuts.

And he said it’s not just the latest round of proposed reductions — it’s the fact that it comes on top of five previous cuts totaling a 37 percent reduction since Conway took office in January 2008.

The staff of the attorney general’s office has shrunk from 249 in 2008 to fewer than 190, Conway said. But he told lawmakers at a House budget panel meeting that he was hopeful more layoffs wouldn’t be necessary.

This also comes as Conway pushes for tighter regulations on prescription pills. He is supporting legislation that would allow his investigators to get more access to prescription reports tracked by Kentucky’s monitoring system, KASPER.

Don Weber

Don Weber is a Video Journalist for Spectrum News and covers politics and education on Pure Politics, Kentucky’s only nightly program dedicated to state politics. Don is a lifelong Kentuckian and a graduate of Northern Kentucky University. He spent many years covering sports in the Northern Kentucky area before shifting primarily to politics. You can watch Don’s work weeknights at 7:00 and 11:30 on Pure Politics, available exclusively on Spectrum News, HD Channels 403 and 715. If you have a story idea you can reach Don at donald.weber@charter.com.

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