Richie Farmer

Regional
12:56 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

No Defense Motions Filed by Richie Farmer's Lawyer Ahead of Deadline

Former Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer faces an Oct. 22 federal trial.

Defense attorneys for a former Kentucky agriculture commissioner haven’t filed any motions ahead of an October federal trial.

Richie Farmer is facing five counts related to his time in office from 2004 to 2011. A federal judge set an August 2 deadline for Farmer’s lawyer to file defense motions, but the Courier-Journal reports no such motions were submitted. That’s despite the judge’s decision to extend the filing deadline in response to Farmer’s attorney’s claims that he needed extra time to mile motions.

Farmer’s attorney is Guthrie True, who represented then-Barren County Sheriff Chris Eaton in his recent federal trial in Bowling Green.

Farmer was indicted in April on four counts involving alleged theft of federal funds and one count of soliciting a bribe while agriculture commissioner. Farmer has pleaded not guilty to all counts. The government wants him to repay $450,000--the amount they say he misused while in office.

Regional
6:40 am
Tue May 21, 2013

Former Kentucky Ag Department Employees Reprimanded for Ethics Violations

The Executive Branch Ethics Commission has handed down public reprimands and fines to three former employees in the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.

The panel took the action Monday against Bruce Harper of Harrodsburg, Chris Parsons of Mount Vernon and George "Doug" Begley of London.

Harper agreed to pay a $4,500 fine for soliciting donations from businesses his agency regulated and for attempting to interfere with enforcement actions in cases involving grain storage and disposal of dead animals.

Parsons agreed to pay a $5,000 fine for filing false timesheets and for using his state-assigned vehicle for personal purposes.

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Regional
1:41 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

Prosectors: Richie Farmer's Wrongdoing Pre-Dates 2008

Former Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer

Former Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer's "unwarranted sense of entitlement" goes beyond what he's been charged with, federal prosecutors said in a court filing.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenneth Taylor said in a notice filed in court late Friday that the government intends to introduce testimony and other evidence that Farmer misappropriated and misused public resources before 2008, the last year listed in an indictment.

Because of a five-year statute of limitations, Taylor said Farmer could not be charged with anything that may have happened before 2008.

Farmer is a former University of Kentucky basketball player who was elected agriculture commissioner in 2003 and 2007. He has pleaded not guilty to four counts of misappropriating government funds for the benefit of himself, his family and friends.

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Regional
3:53 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Richie Farmer Pleads Not Guilty to Federal Charges

Richie Farmer

Kentucky sports hero turned politician Richie Farmer pleaded not guilty Thursday to criminal charges related to his management of the Department of Agriculture.

The basketball icon whose jersey hangs from the rafters of the University of Kentucky's Rupp Arena was charged in an indictment earlier this week with four counts of misappropriating government property and money and one count of soliciting property in exchange for a government grant.

Farmer appeared Thursday before U.S. Magistrate Robert Wier in U.S. District Court in Lexington with his attorney, Guthrie True.

True entered the plea for Farmer, who answered only "yes" and "yes, sir" in response to questions from Wier.

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Politics
9:27 am
Wed April 24, 2013

Farmer to Face Federal Indictment Thursday

Former Agriculture Secretary Richie Farmer

The arraignment for former Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer is now scheduled for Thursday afternoon in Lexington. Farmer’s arraignment had originally been set for next Tuesday, but was moved up because of a scheduling conflict with Farmer’s lawyer, Guthrie True.

Earlier this week the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Farmer had been indicted on four counts of theft from a program involving federal funds and one count of soliciting a bribe.

The charges against Farmer include allegations that he took guns, watches, and knives bought as gifts from a convention in 2008.

Each of the five counts against the former UK basketball star carries a penalty of 10 years and a fine of up to $250,000. Any sentence following a conviction would be imposed by a judge under federal court sentencing guidelines.

Agriculture
1:27 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

Ag Commissioner James Comer: Indictment of Richie Farmer Won't Affect Department

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer doesn't expect the indictment of his predecessor, Richie Farmer, to damage the department. Comer says he feels sorry for Farmer's family because of the indictment, but it won't be a distraction for the department.

Comer and his staff have cooperated with multiple investigations into Farmer, and his goal is to distance the office from the officeholder.

"I hope the confidence has been restored. I work hard every day, I go to events every day to promote agriculture. We brought in all new management, we're efficient, we're transparent," said Comer, a Monroe County native.

Farmer has been indicted on five counts related to allegations he misused his office to obtain gifts and misappropriated state funds during his two terms as commissioner. He could face up to ten years in prison and a quarter million dollar fine.

Politics
9:46 am
Mon April 22, 2013

Richie Farmer Indicted by Federal Grand Jury, Faces Up to 50 Years in Prison

Former Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer has been indicted by a federal grand jury on four counts of misusing and misappropriating funds from the Department of Agriculture. Farmer also faces a charge of soliciting property in exchange for influencing department actions.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Lexington made the announcement this morning. The charges against Farmer include allegations that he took guns, watches, and knives bought as gifts from a convention in 2008.

Each of the five counts against the former UK basketball star carries a penalty of 10 years and a fine of up to $250,000. Any sentence following a conviction would be imposed by a judge under federal court sentencing guidelines.

U.S. Attorney Kerry Harvey says Farmer will be arraigned on April 30.

Allegations of spending and hiring abuses during Farmer’s tenure as Agriculture Commissioner prompted his successor, James Comer, to ask for an audit of Farmer’s time at the department. The report released by state auditor Adam Edelen found what he called “a toxic culture of entitlement and self-dealing at the Kentucky taxpayers’ expense.”

Regional
6:05 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Grand Jury to Meet on Richie Farmer

Former Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer could be the subject of a federal grand jury meeting on Friday.

Frankfort defense attorney Guthrie True said he's been informed that the grand jury will look at Farmer. The Executive Branch Ethics Commission charged Farmer last month with 42 administrative ethics violations for allegedly misusing government funds and employees during his eight years in office.

Politics
1:45 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Farmer Facing 42 Charges of Ethics Violations During Time as Agriculture Commissioner

Former Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer

Former Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer is facing 42 charges of ethics violations related to his tenure from 2003-2011. The state’s Executive Branch Ethics Commission returned the charges following a ten-month investigation.

That investigation started when state auditor Adam Edelen issued a report last April accusing Farmer of abusing his office and employees in the Agriculture Department. That report claimed Farmer used workers to take him hunting and shopping, mow his lawn, and even chauffeur his dog.

The Courier-Journal reports the case against the former UK basketball player now goes to a hearing officer who will review the evidence and then make a recommendation to the ethics commission regarding punishment. If the commission ultimately finds Farmer guilty he could face a fine of up to $5,000 per count. Farmer served two terms and Agriculture Commissioner before running unsuccessfully as Lt. Gov. in 2011.

Agriculture
9:01 am
Mon March 18, 2013

Richie Farmer Could be on Ethics Commission Agenda Monday

The Executive Branch Ethics Commission has a meeting set for Monday when they could decide whether former University of Kentucky basketball star Richie Farmer violated any of rules when he was state agriculture commissioner.

Farmer was accused in a state audit last year of using Department of Agriculture employees to take him hunting and shopping, mow his yard and chauffeur his dog. Those accusations and more were passed along to the Ethics Commission.

Farmer served two terms in the elected-position of agriculture commissioner. He ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor in 2011.

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