The Executive Branch Ethics Commission has handed down public reprimands and fines to three former employees in the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.
The panel took the action Monday against Bruce Harper of Harrodsburg, Chris Parsons of Mount Vernon and George "Doug" Begley of London.
Harper agreed to pay a $4,500 fine for soliciting donations from businesses his agency regulated and for attempting to interfere with enforcement actions in cases involving grain storage and disposal of dead animals.
Parsons agreed to pay a $5,000 fine for filing false timesheets and for using his state-assigned vehicle for personal purposes.
Former Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer's "unwarranted sense of entitlement" goes beyond what he's been charged with, federal prosecutors said in a court filing.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenneth Taylor said in a notice filed in court late Friday that the government intends to introduce testimony and other evidence that Farmer misappropriated and misused public resources before 2008, the last year listed in an indictment.
Because of a five-year statute of limitations, Taylor said Farmer could not be charged with anything that may have happened before 2008.
Farmer is a former University of Kentucky basketball player who was elected agriculture commissioner in 2003 and 2007. He has pleaded not guilty to four counts of misappropriating government funds for the benefit of himself, his family and friends.
Kentucky sports hero turned politician Richie Farmer pleaded not guilty Thursday to criminal charges related to his management of the Department of Agriculture.
The basketball icon whose jersey hangs from the rafters of the University of Kentucky's Rupp Arena was charged in an indictment earlier this week with four counts of misappropriating government property and money and one count of soliciting property in exchange for a government grant.
Farmer appeared Thursday before U.S. Magistrate Robert Wier in U.S. District Court in Lexington with his attorney, Guthrie True.
True entered the plea for Farmer, who answered only "yes" and "yes, sir" in response to questions from Wier.