From the News Edge: Four year-old dies after Saturday accident ---- Horse Trainer Larry Jones seriously injured in Saturday training accident ---- Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden to be at Fort Campbell Wednesday ---- For all of the latest news be sure to visit our News Page...............................................................THANK YOU to all who were involved in making this year's Cadiz Rotary Radio auction a big success...........................................................................Don't miss out on our latest Loyal Listener Deals.

Posted: Monday, 22 April 2013 11:40AM

Former KY Ag Commissioner Facing Federal Charges

UPDATED: (April 26, 2013)

Former Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer could face a trial as soon as July after pleading not guilty in federal court Thursday.  Farmer appeared before U.S. Magistrate Robert Wier in U.S. District Court in Lexington with his attorney, Guthrie True, who entered the plea for Farmer.  

Farmer, 43, will remain free until his trial, which was set for July 2 and is expected to last about three weeks. His travel will be restricted to within Kentucky and he will have to surrender his passport.  While True says they are glad to have the initial appearance out of the way, he says they will not be ready for a trial so soon.

Farmer is facing up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each of the five counts.  Prosecutors say they will also seek $450,000 - the amount that was allegedly misappropriated - from the now-unemployed Farmer.

ORIGINAL STORY: (April 22, 2013)

State Auditor Adam Edelen hopes the federal indictment of former Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner and UK Basketball All-Star Richie Farmer will remind those serving the Commonwealth that no public official, regardless of position, power or popularity, is above the law.  Edelen issued a statement Monday that the indictment announced by the U.S. Attorney's Office is the culmination of a thorough examination his office conducted last year. He says he hopes this is the beginning of the end of a disappointing chapter in Kentucky's political history.

Court records from the U. S. Attorney's Office in Lexington indicate Farmer is charged with four counts of misusing and misappropriating funds from the Department of Agriculture. He is also charged with one count of soliciting property in exchange for influencing department actions. The charges are in connection with the alleged taking of guns, watches and knives bought as gifts for a 2008 State Agriculture Commisioner's Convention.

Each of the five counts carries a penalty of 10 years in prison and up to 250-thousand dollars in fines. No court date has been scheduled in U S District Court in Lexington.

The indictment comes after State Auditor Adam Edelen returned a report in 2012 that included 41 findings of possible wrongdoing, with Edelen describing Farmer's administration as a "toxic culture of entitlement and self-dealing at the Kentucky taxpayers' expense".

Last month the Kentucky Executive Branch Ethics Commission returned 42 counts of ethics violations against farmer, with Farmer facing a fine of up to five-thousand dollars for each.

WebReadyTM Powered by WireReady® NSI