Gov.-elect Bevin names attorney who represented former Gov. Fletcher in merit case as general counsel

11/10/2015 02:32 PM

Gov.-elect Matt Bevin has named Louisville attorney M. Stephen Pitt, who successfully represented former Gov. Ernie Fletcher against allegations of personnel hiring improprieties in 2006, as his general counsel.

Pitt, with the firm Wyatt, Tarrant and Combs since 1977, is Bevin’s first hire to the upcoming administration. The incoming governor announced the move in a news release on Tuesday.

“He is widely respected and has a deep understanding of the law that is rooted in decades of experience,” Bevin said of Pitt in a statement. “The office of General Counsel is a critical one and Steve’s character, competence and commitment to the Commonwealth are beyond reproach. He is going to be an excellent public servant for Kentucky.”

Pitt defended Fletcher in a criminal case centered on accusations of violating Kentucky’s merit employment law in personnel decisions.

Misdemeanor charges against Fletcher were ultimately dropped in a settlement with then-Attorney General Greg Stumbo. The former governor pardoned others in his administration who were charged by a grand jury in the matter.

Pitt also represented the Transportation Cabinet in Stumbo’s investigation.

“I am really impressed with Matt Bevin and his vision for Kentucky,” Pitt said in a statement. “I’m looking forward to giving back to the people of Kentucky. I want to be part of something that’s lasting and meaningful.”

A press release announcing Pitt’s hire notes the numerous awards and recognition he’s received as one of the state’s top attorneys and lists some of his more prominent clients, such as the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, DuPont, General Electric, Rockwell International and Occidental Chemical.

Pitt previously served as a senior trial attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Public Integrity Sector, assistant U.S. attorney for the western district of Kentucky and assistant budget director for the president of the University of Kentucky, according to the release.

Bevin has said he plans to announce a chief of staff this week.

Kevin Wheatley

Kevin Wheatley is a reporter for Pure Politics. He joined cn|2 in September 2014 after five years at The State Journal in Frankfort, where he covered Kentucky government and politics. You can reach him at kevin.wheatley@charter.com or 502-792-1135 and follow him on Twitter at @KWheatley_cn2.

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