Discovery Period Extended in Van Newberry Zoning Case

Mar 21, 2014

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Discovery continues in a lawsuit regarding potential zoning misconduct case involving McCracken County's Judge Executive and his deputy. 

The case's first pre-trial conference took place this morning. 

Judge Executive Van Newberry and Deputy Judge Executive Doug Harnice face felony charges of tampering with public records in connection with unauthorized zone changes affecting at least 500 pieces of property in McCracken County last year.

At today's conference, Marshall County Circuit Court Judge Denis Foust moved to extend the discovery period.  Commonwealth Attorney G.L. Ovey says zoning law issues are usually very detailed, and the extension was to make sure no evidence was overlooked.

"It's a very detailed case," said Ovey. "We just want to make sure that all the discovery has been exchanged from the Commonwealth to the defense before we set a trial date, so the judge granted us until May 30th, at which time we’ll have all the discovery taken care of and we’ll know if the case can be resolved short of a jury trial or on that date if we need to set a trial by jury.” 

Ovey says Newberry and Harnice face identical and complicit charges. He says that if Newberry is found guilty of the felony, he’s eligible to lose his state pension, apart from criminal penalties.