Former Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer is facing 42 charges of ethics violations related to his tenure from 2003-2011. The state’s Executive Branch Ethics Commission returned the charges following a ten-month investigation.
That investigation started when state auditor Adam Edelen issued a report last April accusing Farmer of abusing his office and employees in the Agriculture Department. That report claimed Farmer used workers to take him hunting and shopping, mow his lawn, and even chauffeur his dog.
The Courier-Journal reports the case against the former UK basketball player now goes to a hearing officer who will review the evidence and then make a recommendation to the ethics commission regarding punishment. If the commission ultimately finds Farmer guilty he could face a fine of up to $5,000 per count. Farmer served two terms and Agriculture Commissioner before running unsuccessfully as Lt. Gov. in 2011.
The Executive Branch Ethics Commission has a meeting set for Monday when they could decide whether former University of Kentucky basketball star Richie Farmer violated any of rules when he was state agriculture commissioner.
Farmer was accused in a state audit last year of using Department of Agriculture employees to take him hunting and shopping, mow his yard and chauffeur his dog. Those accusations and more were passed along to the Ethics Commission.
Farmer served two terms in the elected-position of agriculture commissioner. He ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor in 2011.
Kentucky's agriculture commissioner says the state's four-year-old fuel and pesticide testing lab has not lived up to its initial billing. James Comer told members of the state's interim joint committee on agriculture that his predecessor, Richie Farmer, sold the fuel lab as a great investment and moneymaker for the commonwealth.