Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

November 30, 2011

Firing stuns commissioner of natural resources

FRANKFORT — Carl Campbell, the state Commissioner of Natural Resources who was fired Tuesday without any explanation, said he “doesn’t have a clue why he was fired” and was only doing his job according to the law.

Campbell, 65, a non-merit or politically appointed employee, was not protected by the state merit system and was fired “without cause.” He was informed in person Tuesday by Holly McCoy-Johnson, director of the General Administrative and Program Support agency “that my services were no longer needed.” He was then given a one-paragraph letter signed by McCoy-Johnson saying he was being terminated immediately.

Campbell said he had planned to retire in March when he reached his 66th birthday.

Tom Fitzgerald, with the Kentucky Resources Council, said Campbell has “done a very good job under extremely difficult circumstances.” Asked if he knew of any reason Campbell’s performance might be considered unsatisfactory, Fitzgerald responded, “I’m assuming he’s been holding the line against companies who are politically active.”

Neither Dick Brown, spokesman for the Energy and Environment Cabinet, nor Gov. Steve Beshear’s spokeswoman Kerri Richardson had any comment on why Campbell was fired. Richardson would only say, “Personnel decisions are handled at the cabinet level.” Brown said deputy commissioner Larry Arnett will assume Campbell’s duties until a replacement is named.

Campbell oversaw surface mine reclamation, mine safety and licensing, including non-coal operations. He got generally good marks from both coal industry representatives and environmental interests.

Campbell said Wednesday he “always tried to be fair and consistent across the board. When I could I tried to help the coal companies get their permits and I tried to protect the environment. As far as I’m concerned, I did my job.”

In fact, Campbell said, he was scheduled Tuesday to travel to southeastern Kentucky to listen to concerns from Nally and Hamilton, a Bardstown-based coal company with surface operations in southeastern Kentucky under fire from environmental groups which have sued the company for alleged Clean Water Act violations. Campbell said the company thought the state was slow in releasing its reclamation performance bonds. He was fired just before he was scheduled to leave for that meeting.

Text Only
Local News
  • 0723bcfair0083.jpg Boyd County Fair in full swing

    Arriving at the Boyd County Fairgrounds last night, ears were filled with the sounds of children’s laughter, grown-up chatter and the screams of those individuals brave enough to partake of the weathered rides.

    July 22, 2014 4 Photos

  • Cans, trailer and moving dollies reported stolen to APD

    A thief targeted recyclables in a heist at the Pollard Place group home Friday.

    July 22, 2014

  • McConnell co-sponsors bill to protect correctional officers

    U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell co-sponsored legislation to help protect correctional officers and staff at Federal Bureau of Prison facilities.

    July 22, 2014

  • School discrimination suit settled

    A former Greenup County schools custodian has settled his federal racial discrimination suit against the school district, but the terms will not be made public.

    July 22, 2014

  • Family trip detour provides military thrill for 10-year-old

    Jeremy Crawford’s idea of a good time is a seat beside his papaw, watching their favorite World War II movies.

    July 22, 2014

  • Highlands marks year of progress

    This time last year, the Highlands Museum and Discovery Center was facing an eviction notice. Now, the museum is celebrating a year’s worth of progress where not only does it have ownership of its Winchester Avenue building, but is seeing an upswing in exhibition attendance.

    July 22, 2014

  • First lady recognizes Morehead

    Kentucky first lady Jane Beshear said Morehead’s achievement in finally reaching Trail Town certification exemplifies the strength and dedication of the small town community during her address Tuesday at the Rowan County Arts Center.

    July 22, 2014

  • Local in brief: 7/23/14

    The inaugual Ride for Autism will be Aug. 23, starting and ending at Callihan’s American Pub & Grill at the Kyova Mall, including a stop at Carter Caves State Resort Park.

    July 22, 2014

  • 0723trailtown.jpg First lady recognizes Morehead Trail Town status

    Kentucky first lady Jane Beshear said Morehead’s achievement in finally reaching “Trail Town” certification exemplifies the strength and dedication of the small town community during her address Tuesday at the Rowan County Arts Center.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • McConnell co-sponsors bill to protect correctional officers

    U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell co-sponsored legislation to help protect correctional officers and staff at Federal Bureau of Prison (BOP) facilities.

    July 22, 2014