Former Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner and UK basketball “Unforgettable” Richie Farmer is scheduled for court next week after a federal grand jury indicted him on four counts of misappropriating state funds and one count of solicitation.
The charges stem from alleged misconduct from 2008 to 2011.
According to the indictment, Farmer used money from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture for gifts, hotel rooms, computer equipment and more for himself, friends and family.
He is also accused of hiring friends, but not giving them any specific duties.
The indictment also alleges he had state employees do personal jobs for him such as babysit his children, mow his lawn and transport his dog.
Farmer’s attorney, Guthrie True, said he believed the issue is political, not legal.
“Historically, disagreements on such issues have been decided at the polling place, not the courtroom,” True said.
True said he doesn’t anticipate Farmer will accept a plea deal in the case, but instead believes it will be tried.
True also said that Farmer is currently unemployed. He said he believes it will be difficult for Farmer to find work until the case is resolved.
“All that has been accomplished for Kentucky farmers and for Kentucky agriculture, for instance the huge growth in the Kentucky Proud program, has been overshadowed by all of this,” True said.
If convicted, each of the counts carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine.
The U.S. Government is also seeking $450,000 from Farmer. That’s how much KDA money he allegedly misused.