Richie Farmer's Prison Sentence Delayed Because of Basketball

Mar 17, 2014

Former Kentucky agriculture commissioner Richie Farmer
Credit Kentucky News Network

U. S. District Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove has ruled that former Kentucky agriculture commissioner Richie Farmer can delay his report date to March 25th so he can watch his son play in the state's Sweet 16 basketball tournament.

He was originally set to enter prison Tuesday. The ruling said the decision is not to give Farmer preferential treatment but is "out of deference to the family."

Kentucky attorney general Jack Conway says he has no issue with Farmer delaying his jail sentence. Conway said Farmer is "a fallen idol" whom he believes will pay his debt to society well beyond the 27 months he'll spend in prison.

Farmer was charged with abusing his power for eight years as the state's agriculture commissioner. Prosecutors argued Farmer hired friends and had them do little to no work and also had state employees run personal errands for him including having them build a basketball court at his home. Prosecutors said Farmer felt a sense of entitlement following his celebrity as a University of Kentucky basketball star.

Farmer pleaded guilty last September to two counts of misappropriating government resources.