Former Ag Commissioner Charged with 42 Ethics Violations

Mar 18, 2013

Credit Ed Reinke / AP

Former Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer has been charged with 42 ethics violations by the executive branch of the Kentucky Ethics Commission.

The panel’s executive director John Steffen says the charges are for alleged misuse of state funds and state employees during Farmer’s two terms in office. He also says number of violation is the highest ever issued by the Commission.

“I believe 16 was the prior high number of counts containing an executive order, an initiating order,” Steffen said. “We have not seen misuse of office at this level in the nearly 9 years I’ve been with the commission I’ve not seen anything that compares to this abuse of public trust and abuse of public office.”

Steffen spoke to the media shortly after the Commission issued its report.

Among the charges are that Farmer employed friends in jobs that had no specific duties and asked them to run personal errands for him. The former agriculture official is also accused of using state employees to construct a basketball court on his property.

Farmer is a former University of Kentucky basketball player.