Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

April 22, 2013

Farmer indicted on felony fraud charges

FRANKFORT — Former Republican Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer was indicted on four counts of misappropriating public funds and solicitation of property in exchange for influencing agriculture matters by a federal grand jury.

According to the indictment, Richard Dwight Farmer, 43, who was twice elected agriculture commissioner and ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor after a storied basketball career in high school and at the University of Kentucky, “repeatedly abused his authority for his own benefit,” and “wrongfully used public funds and (Kentucky Department of Agriculture) resources to obtain goods and services for him and his family.”

The indictment alleges Farmer took for his personal use excess guns, knives, watches and gift cards purchased as gifts for participants at a 2008 Southern Association of State Departments of Agriculture in Lexington and directed KDA staff to reserve hotel rooms in their names at the state fair which were used instead by Farmer’s extended family.

It also alleges he created non-merit jobs to which he appointed “close associates” who performed little or unnecessary work and used KDA staff to perform personal work such as lawn work, work on his personal home, babysitting his children and driving his dog.

Each count carries a maximum penalty of 10 years and fines of up to $250,000. The government is also seeking restitution of $450,000.

Farmer’s attorney, Guthrie True, said he was “disappointed but not surprised by today’s indictment.”

He said he has been aware of the plan to indict Farmer for “several weeks now,” adding that he believes the issues contained in the allegations are more political and policy-related than something which should be decided by the courts.

True said Famer “absolutely” will plead not guilty and will surrender voluntarily rather than being taken into custody. He said the proposed April 30 arraignment date set forth in the indictment may have to be re-scheduled because of another trial True is scheduled to begin the previous day in Bowling Green.

Text Only
Local News
  • 0419sciencehs.JPG Russell High School wins State Science Olympiad

    The long ride home from Bowling Green was tinged with disappointment for Russell High School students who believed they’d finished as also-rans in the state Science Olympiad last weekend.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0419sciencems.JPG Russell Middle School state Science Olympiad champions

    From identifying hundreds of insects to designing and operating mechanical contraptions that just look like insects, a team of Russell Middle School students took their research and technical skills to the Science Olympiad in Bowling Green last week and came back state champions.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0419melodies0148.jpg Kitchen jazzes up downtown lunch hour

    Some came to enjoy the relaxing sounds of cool jazz and traditional tunes at lunch, while others attended in hopes of picking up a few tricks from a master musician as guitarist Chris Kitchen kicked off the Melodies & Masterpieces concert series in downtown Ashland Friday afternoon.

    April 18, 2014 4 Photos

  • Sparks, Waddell in Carter Coronor’s race

    Incumbent George A. Sparks of Grayson will face challenger William Waddell of Olive Hill in the Democratic primary election for the Carter County coroner’s seat.

    April 18, 2014

  • 04/18/2014 — What's Happening

    Local news

    April 18, 2014

  • Bill3.jpg 'Dreams'

    It was in her own death that Donna Schoonover helped William Schoonover redefine his life.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • guyp-rodnew.jpg 'Uplifting people'

    The snow kept gospel singer Guy Penrod chilling a little longer than it should have this spring.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0418star0024.jpg Raising the roof

    Leaks will soon be a thing of the past at Star Elementary School, where workers are busy putting up a new roof.
     

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fire at Russell care facility

    A care facility for the elderly in Russell was temporarily evacuated following a fire in the kitchen Wednesday night.
     

    April 18, 2014

  • Incumbent, newcomer vie for PVA position

    A longtime office-holder is facing a rare primary challenge in the Greenup County property valuation administrator race.

    April 18, 2014