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Investigation Will Look at Richie Farmer's Tenure as Head of Kentucky Agriculture Dept

Former Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer

The state Personnel Board has voted to investigate multiple merit system and employee abuses that allegedly took place in the Kentucky Department of Agriculture. The alleged abuses took place under then Commissioner Richie Farmer, and were detailed earlier this year in a scathing audit of the department.

The audit was released in April, and described a “toxic culture of entitlement and self-dealing” at the department under Farmer’s leadership, including numerous breaches of state personnel law.

That report detailed alleged instances of pre-selecting candidates for merit jobs, improper reclassifications, incomplete hiring documents, unjustified bonuses, retaliation against employees and time sheet violations.

State Auditor Adam Edelen forwarded the findings to the personnel board and others for further investigation following the audit’s completion.