Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

April 22, 2013

Farmer indicted on felony fraud charges

(Continued)

FRANKFORT —

True said Monday that he does not anticipate any sort of negotiated deal with federal prosecutors, expecting the case to be decided by a jury.

He said Farmer, who last fall underwent hip replacement surgery, is doing well physically and took the news of the indictment in stride but said he’s unemployed.

“I suspect things are going to be tough for Richie to be employed until we get this case behind us,” True said.

True said the indictment represents “a dangerous precedent” for the U.S. Department of Justice to question political and policy priorities of other administrations or agencies of state government.

He said he may question some of the facts alleged in the case or whether federal statues allow the aggregation of financial amounts to meet the threshold of an offense and other allegations may be based on facts taken out of context.

“We still believe he’s not done anything wrong,” True said. “We don’t believe these issues should be in the criminal arena at all.”

At Monday’s press conference announcing the indictment, U.S. Attorney Kerry B. Harvey declined to say if others may be indicted.

The indictment refers to other individuals by initials but those initials match former employees of KDA who were named in the Executive Branch Ethics Commission charges.

Farmer’s girlfriend, Stephanie Sandmann, William E. Mobley and Mark Jackson were all named in the ethics charges for performing little or no work for the department. The indictment alleges misuse of funds through salaries to “W.E.M., M.J., and S.S.”

RONNIE ELLIS writes for CNHI News Service and is based in Frankfort. Reach him at rellis@cnhi.com. Follow CNHI News Service stories on Twitter at www.twitter.com/cnhifrankfort.

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