Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

April 22, 2013

Former Ky. Ag Commissioner Richie Farmer indicted on felony fraud charges

By BRETT BARROUQUERE
Associated Press

FRANKFORT — The attorney for former Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer said Monday his client will plead not guilty to felony charges of misappropriating state funds.

J. Guthrie True told reporters in Frankfort on Monday that Farmer is not in custody and will appear in court for his arraignment April 30.

In an indictment unsealed Monday, Farmer was charged with four federal felony counts of misappropriating state funds and one count of soliciting goods.

The former state basketball icon was the state's agriculture commissioner from 2004 to the end of 2011. The indictment charges him 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 Kentucky Department of Agriculture.

"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.

If convicted on all counts, the 43-year-old Farmer faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.