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Ag commissioner appoints task force to study fuel testing lab

FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 3, 2012) — Agriculture Commissioner James Comer today announced the members of a fuel lab task force who will address concerns raised in an audit of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s previous administration.

The task force includes leaders in the fuel industry, agriculture, and government efficiencies, including:

• Wayne Hunt of Hopkinsville, owner of large-scale agri-business operations in western Kentucky; chairman of the James Comer transition team;

• Phil Moffett of Louisville, former president and CEO of the Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions (BIPPS); 2011 Republican candidate for governor of Kentucky; tea party activist and private businessman;

• Jenny Inman of Owensboro, private commodities broker in western Kentucky;

• Steve Kelly of New Liberty, deputy executive director of the Office of Consumer and Environmental Protection and acting budget director at the Kentucky Department of Agriculture; and

• Kathy Gornick of Lexington, chairman of the board of directors for the Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions (BIPPS); president of successful private business in Lexington.

“These individuals are some of the great, creative minds in their fields,” Comer said. “It is my hope that their recommendations will help fix what was exposed to be a money pit for the taxpayers during the previous administration.”

In his first month in office, Comer called for a thorough and sweeping audit of the operations of the previous administration at the Department of Agriculture. One of the findings of that audit stated that the fuel lab, tasked with quantity and quality testing of fuels and pesticides, cost Kentucky taxpayers roughly $900,000 last year. The previous commissioner of agriculture told legislators in 2008 that the fuel lab would actually generate income for the department.

The fuel lab task force will convene at the Kentucky Department of Agriculture office at 111 Corporate Drive, Frankfort, on July 24, 2012 at 9:30 a.m.