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Fri January 10, 2014
McCracken County Officials Indicted in Zoning Case
McCracken County Judge-Executive Van Newberry and Deputy Judge-Executive Doug Harnice face a charge of tampering with public records in connection with unauthorized zone changes affecting at least 500 pieces of property in the county.
Commonwealth's Attorney G.L. Ovey says the investigation began after officials received complaints about the changes.
Ovey says one person purchased property zoned commercial but discovered it had changed to residential when he went to sell it.
He says property was devalued in a majority of the cases. Neither Newberry nor Harnice was available for comment this afternoon. Arraignment on the felony charges is set for Thursday.
Last year, two McCracken County residents filed complaints saying the zoning of their properties was changed without their permission, giving the properties a lower value designation. Ovey, a prosecutor in Caldwell, Livingston, Lyon and Trigg counties, was appointed special prosecutor by the attorney general's office after the McCracken County commonwealth's attorney stepped aside due to conflict of interest.