The Richmond Register

Local News

April 22, 2013

Ritchie Farmer indicted by federal grand jury

LEXINGTON — A federal grand jury has indicted former Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer on four felony counts of misappropriating state funds and one of solicitation.

The indictment unsealed Monday in Lexington charges Farmer with using his state position to obtain thousands of dollars’ worth of gifts, hotel rooms, clothing and computers. It also charges him with hiring friends who did little or no work for the state.

“Throughout his tenure, Farmer wrongfully used public funds and KDA resources to obtain goods and services for himself and his family,” the 13-page indictment said.

Farmer, a former high school and college basketball icon, was agriculture commissioner from 2004 to 2012.

If convicted on all counts, he faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

“There’s no surprise in there,” said J. Guthrie True, Farmer’s attorney.

True was planning a news conference for later Monday, he said.

Arraignment is scheduled for April 30.

Along with the criminal charges, federal prosecutors want Farmer to give up $450,000 in either cash or assets as proceeds of the alleged illegal activity.

The indictment said Farmer, as head of the Southern Association of State Departments of Agriculture, used funds for an association conference in 2008 to purchase 25 Remington rifles, 25 rifle cases, 52 embossed Case knives and 50 personalized cigar boxes. Some of the gifts were given to attendees. Prosecutors say Farmer took the excess gifts for himself.

The grand jury also accused Farmer of using Agriculture Department funds to benefit his family and friends, including naming at least three people as “special assistants” who did little or no work for the department. Farmer directed the “special assistants” to perform personal tasks for him on work hours, including building a basketball court at his home, installing flooring in his attic, and organizing his personal effects, according to the indictment.

Farmer approved the salaries and overtime of the assistants who performed the work, the grand jury said.

Farmer is also accused of having Agriculture Department employees drive him on personal errands, babysit his children, mow his lawn and transport his dog.

In a separate action, Farmer also faces 42 ethics charges accusing him of misusing state funds and state employees during his time in office.

Farmer was a shooting guard for the University of Kentucky’s Wildcats basketball team from 1988 to 1992. The team was known as “The Unforgettables.”

 

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 4-18 PackTrack1a.jpg Walkers, runners of every age ‘Pack the Track’

    Waco Elementary and Model Laboratory schools students raised more than $8,000 (and counting) for the annual Pack the Track event at Eastern Kentucky University’s Tom Samuels Track Thursday, said Kim DeCoste of the Madison County Diabetes Coalition.

    April 18, 2014 14 Photos

  • 4-18 George WilliamsWEB.jpg Suicide attempt fatal for inmate

    A Todd County man died Tuesday at a Lexington hospital following a suicide attempt at the Madison County Detention Center, according to Madison and Fayette county officials.
    George Kenneth Williams, 50, of Allensville, was transported Monday afternoon by Madison County EMS to Baptist Health Richmond, according to EMS Director Jimmy Cornelison. He was then transferred to Baptist Health in Lexington where he died Tuesday, according to the Fayette County Coroner’s Office.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • CCDW instructor indicted on charges of failing to provide training

    A Madison County grand jury has indicted a carry-concealed weapons permit instructor on charges he falsely claimed to have provided instruction to one person for a CCDW permit and provided incomplete training to three others.
    Christopher D. Fins was indicted April 9 on one count of CCDW instructor not providing firearms training and three counts of providing incomplete firearms training.
    Fins faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of all four felony charges.

    April 17, 2014

  • EKU dorm sprinklers may have been activated maliciously

    Fire-suppression sprinklers went off about 2:30 a.m. Thursday in Eastern Kentucky University’s Martin Hall dormitory, prompting its evacuation.
    Fluctuating pressure then caused a campus water main to break, according to EKU spokesperson Mark Whitt.
    The cause is uncertain, but university officials are investigating to determine if the sprinklers were activated maliciously, Whitt said.
    The residence hall houses 260 students who were placed in other university housing or stayed with friends. All were able to move back in later in the day, he said.

    April 17, 2014

  • Sixth person charged in motel meth bust

    A sixth person has been charged in connection with a methamphetamine-making operation discovered last week at the Bel Air Motel in Richmond.
    Roger M. Million, 24, Moberly Road, was charged Wednesday with manufacturing methamphetamine.

    April 17, 2014

  • 4-18 George WilliamsWEB.jpg Madison County inmate dies in Lexington hospital

    An inmate at the Madison County Detention Center died Tuesday at a Lexington hospital, according to officials with the Fayette County Coroner’s Office and Madison County EMS.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sprinkler goes off; dorm evacuated

    Fire-suppression sprinklers went off at about 2:30 a.m. Thursday in Eastern Kentucky University’s Martin Hall dormitory, prompting its evacuation.

    April 17, 2014

  • 4-17 4Hfieldday1.jpg 4-H Environmental Field Day

    Madison County fourth-graders participated in several hands-on activities Tuesday and Wednesday during the annual 4-H Environmental Field Day at the county fairgrounds.

    April 16, 2014 8 Photos

  • Hearing delayed on West Main zone change

    Signs giving notice of a public hearing on a proposed zone change at the corner of West Main Street and Tates Creek Avenue were not posted in time for the Richmond Planning Commission to scheduled a public hearing for its April 24 business session.

    April 16, 2014

  • Berea mulls break with Kentucky Utilities

    The city of Berea is considering whether to extend its contract with Kentucky Utilities or to shop around for another electricity provider.

    April 16, 2014

AP Video
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should the Richmond City Commission stop rezoning property to allow construction of apartments?

Yes.
No
     View Results