Former Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer is likely headed to prison for about two years. His attorney says Farmer has reached a plea agreement in his government corruption case.
The plea agreement with state and federal prosecutors and the Executive Branch Ethics Commission would resolve all pending and potential charges related to Farmer’s illegal activities while head of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture from 2004 to 2011. Farmer was headed to trial in federal court next month on a five-count indictment, as well as a 42-count charge brought by the state ethics panel.
“This decision comes after much soul-searching and risk assessment by Richie and his family,” said Farmer’s attorney Guthrie True in a news release.
True acknowledged that federal prosecutors were planning to bring a second indictment, and the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office intends to file charges against Farmer and his sister alleging campaign finance allegations.
“This reality has proven to be physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially overwhelming for Richie and the entire Farmer family,” remarked True. “Even more, Richie cannot, in good conscience, put his three boys – who have already had to suffer through their parents’ divorce – through the stress and trauma which would accompany such an ordeal.”
Under the plea, Farmer will serve between 21 and 27 months in prison, and pay restitution and fines totaling $120,500.
“Richie deeply regrets the pain which has been inflicted on his family, as well as any embarrassment he has caused the good people of Kentucky,” commented True. “In part, this is why he has decided to bring an end to what would have turned into a spectacle which would have run on for months, if not years.”