Paintsville mayor convicted of misusing city money

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Paintsville Mayor Bob Porter convicted of misappropriating city money and resources 9-27-16

PAINTSVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ) – Paintsville Mayor Bob Porter has been found guilty of misappropriating property and city resources.

A federal jury in London convicted Porter on two of the three counts of theft of federal funds and one count of bribery. The jury returned the verdict after more than three hours of deliberation,
following four days of trial.

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One of Porter’s co-defendants, Larry Herald, the former general manager of the Paintsville Utilities Commission, previously pleaded guilty to lying to an FBI agent about his knowledge of Porter’s delinquent utility bills.

Prosecutors say evidence presented at the trial established that, from 2009 until 2012, Porter, with the knowledge, approval and assistance of Herald, did not pay for utilities services provided to residences that he owned in Paintsville. The total delinquency was in excess of $7,000.

The evidence also revealed that Porter used thousands of dollars in city and federal funds to pay for personal expenses, such as: maintenance and repairs on his personal automobiles, gasoline for personal trips, and shipping fees
for personal items, according to prosecutors.

Evidence at the trial also established that Porter used a city owned vehicle, seized from a drug investigation by the Paintsville Police Department, for personal trips, according to prosecutors.

Kerry B. Harvey, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, Howard S. Marshall, Special Agent in Charge, FBI, and Rodney Brewer, Kentucky State Police Commissioner, jointly made the
announcement.

The investigation was conducted by the FBI and the Kentucky State Police. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ken Taylor and Andrew Boone are prosecuting this case on behalf of the federal government.

Porter is scheduled to be sentenced on January 12.

Prosecutors say misappropriating federal property and bribery of a public official each carry a maximum penalty of 10 years and making false statements to a federal agent carries a maximum penalty of five years. However, any sentence following a conviction will be imposed after the Court carefully considers the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statutes.

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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.