Skip to comments.Kentucky Governor Paul Patton (D) Involved In Sex-For- Favors Scandal
Posted on 09/17/2002 7:06:05 PM PDT by RonPaulLives
WHAS11 News I-Team Exclusive: Explosive charges against Kentucky Governor Paul Patton. A prominent and politically connected Western Kentucky businesswoman tells WHAS11 News she was involved in sex and political favors with the Governor. Mark Hebert has been investigating this story for weeks and offers this exclusive WHAS11 I-Team Investigation.
Clinton, Ky., is a quiet Western Kentucky town. But, what the co-owner of Birchtree Nursing Home in Clinton is telling WHAS11's Mark Hebert may cause a political explosion -- not only in Clinton, but across the Commonwealth.
Tina Conner, owner of Birchtree Nursing Home in Clinton, Ky. Tina Conner told WHAS11, "I was attending a Tom Barlow fundraiser" and she says she was stunned by what happened at that political fundraiser in 1997. "That was the first sexual overture that I had experienced from the governor. The basically next morning he called me at the office and propositioned me."
Mark Hebert: What did he say?
Tina Conner: What do you think about let's get together. That's basically how it was. He let me know in so many uncertain terms because he had fondled my breast the night before.
Conner says that began a two-year sexual relationship with Gov. Paul Patton.
"There was a lot of fear involved with it. But there was a lot of WOW also, you know, this is the governor calling!" Conner said.
Conner claims that Patton would call her private fax phone, and she would call his private state line. They met nine or 10 times for sex, usually at a hotel off Hurstbourne Lane always at seven in the morning.
The nursing home owner said their sessions lasted five hours or more with Patton's State Police security guard waiting in the car in the hotel parking lot.
Kentucky Gov. Paul Patton The governor said Tina Conner was a friend and political supporter, but never a lover.
Mark Hebert: Did you ever have a sexual relationship with Tina Conner?
Gov. Patton: I did not.
Mark Hebert: Never had a sexual relationship with this woman?
Gov. Patton: I have not.
However, Conner says differently.
Mark Hebert: Did you feel coerced into having these meetings with him or were you doing it because you wanted to?
Tina Conner: Like I said before, there's mixed feelings with that. Obviously, he controls the Medicaid program, licensure and regulation ... Obviously, he's a powerful man. And a person would honestly assume they would gather some of that power.
The hotel where the couple allegedly met Conner claimed that while the relationship was going on, she would get favors from Patton, calling him directly if her nursing home was having problems with state regulators. However, the Governor doesn't recall helping the nursing home. Conner also claimed Patton helped her other business get a special contract designation from the State Transportation Cabinet. Patton says he called his State Transportation Secretary, but never asked him to give Conner special treatment.
Then, in 1999, Conner claimed she quit having sex with Patton when her marriage was falling apart.
"I wanted to make a go of it and I didn't feel good about it. I didn't feel good about what was going on.", she said.
Mark Hebert: You wanted to make a good faith effort to save your marriage?
Tina Conner: Yes.
Mark Hebert: Did you?
Tina Conner: For awhile.
Mark Hebert: Did you tell your husband what was going on?
Tina Conner: Yes.
Mark Hebert: What did he say?
Tina Conner: He knew it.
Mark Hebert: From the call?
Tina Conner: He just sensed it.
Mark Hebert: He knew you were fooling around with somebody.
Tina Conner: He thought it was the Governor because he'd be around when I'd get a lot of these phone calls.
Patton did give Conner a coveted appointment to the Kentucky Lottery Board in 2000.
"Because we were looking for a female businesswoman from Western Kentucky and she met that criteria," Patton said.
But Conner believes she got the Lottery Board appointment because Patton was hoping her trips to the Board meetings in Louisville would mean more encounters with him. It didn't, but according to Conner, Patton still kept calling up until October of last year.
"What the governor said to me is where have you been? Why haven't you been to Frankfort? Have you forgotten about me? And I, of course, made up excuses," she said.
The governor finally got the hint, according to Conner. And two months later, in December of last year, state inspectors were all over her nursing home.
"Just wiped us out, absolutely desecrated the facility, she said.
Writing up 163 pages of violations, the state's inspection and Birchtree's alleged failure to fix the problems, prompted the Federal Government to cut off Medicaid funding to Birchtree. Ninety-percent of the nursing home's residents were forced to move. Birchtree filed Chapter 11 Bankruptcy papers last week.
Tina Conner blames Paul Patton. That's why she is considering a lawsuit against him, claiming he used his power to retaliate against her for ending their affair.
"He wants to destroy me as an avenue if something comes up in the future I will be totally discredited, destroyed, ruined and out of business. He wants to put me out of business so I'm no threat to him...I knew this was a railroad treatment. I know he's not telling me the truth. But I'm not going down in flames alone, Conner said.
"She's obviously a very, very desperate woman and I'm shocked and horrified that she would go to this extent, Gov. Patton said.
Conner says she warned Patton's lawyer that she had talked to WHAS11. She also called the governor, warning him to back off Birchtree Health Care.
"I called him at a certain point and said what's going on? And he said we've done all we can. I've intercepted for you many times. And these are his words, 'I believe the bureaucrats are upset because I've gone over their heads so many times.' So he said, can I swear? 'Bleep you Paul Patton, we'll show you.' So I've done all I can do. And I got off the phone," Conner said.
"I thought I had explained to her that we simply couldn't do anything about the regulatory process," Gov. Patton said.
Now, Conner said she regrets the whole affair because of the people that she has hurt, most of them in Clinton, Ky. She is also worried about herself.
"Certainly I'm worried but you know they've taken everything I have. What else can they take but my life? And I'm worried about that also," she said.
Mark Hebert: She feels for her own safety, she thinks that there may be some harm done to her - that you are out to get her.
Gov. Patton: I considered us to be friends. I didn't realize that she was this upset.
Mark Hebert: You think Paul Patton or somebody else would order a hit on Tina Conner?
Tina Conner: I certainly do.
,,, that's a long time to keep the boys in the parking lot. I wonder if he ever sprung for donuts and coffee for them.
Davis is a world-class whiner, even his false campaign advertising sucks... that's about as close to slick that Davis' zipper can get. :)
Imagine that. Who knew?
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