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Mine inspector resigns amid inquiries

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 14, 2014 at 3:47 pm •  Published: February 14, 2014

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A longtime state mine inspector has resigned amid inquiries about whether he sought or accepted money from an eastern Kentucky lawmaker who owns coal mines.

Kentucky Division of Mine Reclamation and Enforcement inspector Kelly Shortridge submitted a one-sentence resignation letter Jan. 31 saying his last day would be Friday, according to media reports. The letter did not give a reason.

The U.S. Interior Department's inspector general and the Kentucky Executive Branch Ethics Commission are conducting separate inquiries into the relationship between Shortridge and Democratic state Rep. Keith Hall of Phelps, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported, citing records it obtained through a state open records request.

Shortridge did not return calls for comment.

Hall told The Courier-Journal that he hasn't talked to Shortridge and has "no idea" why he resigned. He declined further comment Friday.

Dick Brown, spokesman for the Energy and Environment Cabinet, told The Courier-Journal that cabinet officials didn't ask for the resignation and that he didn't know why Shortridge resigned.

Shortridge's dealings with Hall were examined in a report by the Energy and Environment Cabinet inspector general last year. The report quoted two officials as saying Hall complained that Shortridge was soliciting contributions for a youth basketball team, The Courier-Journal said.

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