Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Homepage

January 6, 2014

Former mayor sentenced to 2 years

GRAYSON — Former Olive Hill Mayor Danny Sparks was sentenced Monday to two years in the Carter County Detention Center for selling marijuana to an undercover informant.

Sparks, 56, pleaded guilty last month to the Class D felony charge of marijuana trafficking within 1,000 yards of a school. Under the terms of his plea bargain, Sparks agreed to accept a two-year sentence and prosecutors agreed to “stand silent” on the issue of whether Sparks should receive probation, said Sparks’ attorney, Robin Webb of Grayson.

Webb requested probation for her client at Monday’s sentencing hearing, but her request was denied by Carter Circuit Judge Rebecca Phillips, who ordered Sparks to report to the jail Feb. 3 to begin serving his sentence.

“He has no prior criminal charges or convictions, so this is all new to him,” Webb said of her client. “He’s disappointed and apprehensive, no doubt. He made a terrible mistake, and he has paid dearly for it.”

Sparks will be eligible to apply for shock probation — where an offender is “shocked” into compliance by a brief exposure to jail or prison conditions — after he has served 30 days, Webb said. He has credit for a day served, so Webb said she intended to seek shock probation after he has served 29 more days.

Webb had originally sought diversion, under which Sparks’ record would be expunged after five years if he did not commit any other crimes. However, the commonwealth would not agree to that, she said.

Sparks was arrested Nov. 28, 2012, after selling marijuana to an undercover informant working for the FADE Drug Task Force. The transaction took place in a parking lot near Olive Hill Elementary School, police said.

FADE said the investigation leading to Sparks’ arrest had been ongoing for several weeks.

Following his arrest, Sparks wrote a resignation letter in which he said he’d made a bad mistake and failed the city of Olive Hill and its people. However, that letter was never submitted to the city council.

Sparks, who’d been mayor since 2000, resigned a few days later. His brief, hand-written letter of resignation didn’t mention his arrest. Instead, it cited “present circumstances” and said resignation would be best for the city, the council and his family.

The council appointed one of its members, Kenny Fankell, to serve the remainder of Sparks’ term, which expires in December.

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

1
Text Only
Local News
Local Sports
Obituaries
Lifestyles
Opinion
Columns
College Basketball
CNHI News Service Originals
Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Obama Voices Concern About Casualties in Mideast Diplomacy Intensifies Amid Mounting Gaza Toll AP Exclusive: American Beaten in Israel Speaks Obama Protects Gay, Transgender Workers Raw: Gaza Rescuers Search Rubble for Survivors Raw: International Team Inspects MH17 Bodies Raw: 25 Family Members Killed in Gaza Airstrike US Teen Beaten in Mideast Talks About Ordeal 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Newspaper National Network
SEC Zone