FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) A coal mining official says an aide to Gov. Steve Beshear told him in 2009 that a state regulator unpopular with the coal industry was about to be fired.
That's according to court records filed Friday and obtained by the Lexington Herald-Leader.
Kentucky's former mine permits director, Ron Mills, is suing the state for wrongful termination. He claims he was fired because he opposed illegal mining practices.
Energy and Environment Secretary Len Peters has said Mills was fired over job performance.
Alliance Coal Manager Rusty Ashcraft sent an email on Nov. 13, 2009, to others in the coal industry announcing that Mills was being fired that morning.
Ashcraft said in a deposition that he got the heads-up from an aide to the governor, but he could not remember which aide.