Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

December 25, 2013

Former Floyd mayor indicted again

PIKEVILLE — A former mayor of the Floyd County town of Martin has been indicted on federal criminal charges for the second time in two months.

A U.S. District Court grand jury sitting in Pikeville last week indicted Ruth Thomasine Robinson, her husband, her stepson and three of her campaign workers on vote-buying and civil rights conspiracy charges.

Robinson, her husband, James “Red” Robinson, and stepson James Steven Robinson all were named in the indictment, along with Ginger Michelle Halbert, Johnny T. Moore and Henry A. Mullins.

All six defendants were charged with civil rights conspiracy. Ruth and James Robinson were each charged with one count of vote-buying. James Steven Robinson was charged with three counts of vote-buying.

The charges stem from the November 2012 general election, in which Ruth Robinson was seeking re-election. According to the indictment, one or more of the defendants approached residents of public housing and tenants of homes Ruth Robinson owned and requested they obtain absentee ballots for the election.

In many instances, the residents were “poor, physically, mentally or developmentally disabled, and felt intimidated and coerced into complying with the instructions of the defendants with respect to voting," the indictment states

The indictment also alleges that as part of the conspiracy, one or more of the defendants threatened to evict residents and tenants that did not vote or did not vote as directed. Prosecutors say other voters were threatened with the loss of their jobs with the city.

The case landed in federal court because the ballot contained federal races, including the one for president.

All six are scheduled to be arraigned on Jan. 7.

Last month, Ruth Robinson, her daughter, Rita Christine Whicker, Halbert and one other city employee, Ethel Lee Clouse, were indicted on unrelated charges for allegedly engaging in a scheme to defraud the Social Security Administration and to misapply federal funds.

All four defendants were charged with conspiracy to defraud the SSA, theft of Social Security disability benefits and aggravated identity theft. All have pleaded not guilty.

KENNETH HART can be reached at khart@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2654.

Text Only
Local News
  • Golden Corral sends children to camp

    Ashland’s Golden Corral teamed with other restaurants across nation this year to raise $1.5 million to send a total of 3,000 children to Camp Corral.

    July 24, 2014

  • Burglars steal golf gear

    A couple of golf enthusiasts might not make their tee times Saturday because burglars stole golf equipment from their garages.

    July 24, 2014

  • Music instructor claims age discrimination

    The Russell Independent School District is denying allegations of a former band director who claims in a lawsuit the district discriminated against him because of his age.

    July 24, 2014

  • Financial blunder leads to heated board discussion

    In a surprising turn of events, City Manager Ben Bitter’s supervision authority was challenged by the Board of Commissioners after Commissioner Cheryl Spriggs filed a motion to have legal and finance department heads also report to the board in light of a financial blunder by Bitter.
    Ashland Mayor Chuck Charles and City Attorney Richard “Sonny” Martin confirmed a new ordinance will be drafted so the department heads of finance and legal counsel will be checked by the board, in addition to Bitter’s current oversight.

    July 24, 2014

  • Stricter enforcement, diagonal spots endorsed to help downtown

    A group of business owners operating along Winchester Avenue — Ashland’s main thoroughfare — asked the Ashland Board of Commissioners to replace current parallel parking spots with diagonal ones, and also for more strick enforcement of a two-hour parking law.

    July 24, 2014

  • National act takes stage at Boyd County Fair

    The Building of Dreams erupted into screams Thursday night at the 2014 Boyd County Fair, as country music fans saw Bucky Covington take the stage.
    According to Ellen Keaton, fair board president, Covington was a favorite on season five of Fox’s talent competition series American Idol.

    July 24, 2014

  • Smoke-free advocates bound for Ashland

    Advocates for smoke-free public spaces are touring the state, starting in Ashland, to drum up support for anti-tobacco legislation they hope to pass next year.
    Smoke-Free Kentucky is a coalition of organizations and people who support a ban on smoking in all public and work places in Kentucky.

    July 24, 2014

  • Ohio State Band Direc_Mayn.jpg Ohio State marching band chief fired after probe

    Ohio State University fired the director of its celebrated marching band on Thursday after determining he ignored a "sexualized" culture of rituals including students being pressured to march in their underwear and participate in sexually themed stunts.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Grimes has pep rally before energetic Democrats

    Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes was preaching to the Democratic choir Thursday night at the Wendell Ford Dinner attended by about 700 here.

    July 24, 2014

  • Commissioners challenge city manager’s authority

    In a surprising turn of events, City Manager Ben Bitter’s supervision authority was challenged by the Board of Commissioners after Commissioner Cheryl Spriggs filed a motion to have legal and finance department heads also report to the board in light of a financial blunder by Bitter.

    July 24, 2014

Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP basketball
SEC Zone