Constable’s attorney withdraws, PD appointed

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SOMERSET, Ky. (WTVQ) – Pulaski County constable Gary Baldock who is facing federal aggravated assault and civil rights violation charges HAS TO FIND A NEW ATTORNEY OR BE HAPPY WITH A COUNTY-APPOINTED LAWYER.

Lexington attorney Dan Carman, who represented Baldock during his initial appearance in federal court Friday, has been granted a motion to withdraw, saying he was not paid his agreed upon retainer and “it is not expected to come,” according to court records.

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U.S. Magistrate Judge Hanly A. Ingram granted the motion Wednesday and appointed Public Defender Andrew Stephens to represent Baldock. The judge also directed Stephens to get the proper financial forms filed for review so the judge could determine whether Stephens should continue.

Ingram also continued Baldock’s preliminary hearing and detention hearing which was set for Thursday until the court has had time to review paperwork and Stephens has had a chance to review Baldock’s files.

Tuesday, Carman filed the motion to withdraw along with a motion asking a federal judge to continue Baldock’s detainment hearing and preliminary hearing which is scheduled for March 19 in U.S. District Court in London.

Baldock remains in custody pending that hearing.

In his motion, Carman said he met with Baldock, his two sons, and other friends and family members at about noon Friday, two hours prior to his initial appearance. He said he gave them a fee and the family said they needed until Monday to pay it, Carman wrote in his motion.

The attorney said he agreed based on their “specific and genuinely convincing guarantees” but warned them if it was not paid, he would have to file a motion to withdraw.

In his motion, Carman said it is appropriate so Baldock can get needed representation.

Baldock, who was elected District 4 Pulaski County constable in November 2018, and District 5 Constable Michael “Wally” Wallace were indicted Feb. 27 on intimidation charges. Federal agents went to their homes on March 6 to arrest them.

Wallace was arrested without incident but according to FBI affidavits, Baldock brandished a firearm and opened fire, despite being warned FBI agents were at his home.

In an affidavit, FBI special agent David J. Lowery wrote FBI agents went to Baldock’s home on Mountain View Drive near the Somerset Airport at about 6 a.m., and activated emergency lights. Through a loudspeaker, agents announced they were at the residence and on several occasions, urged Baldock to come out, Lowery said in the affidavit.

After Baldock would not respond, “FBI personnel breached the front and rear doors to the residence. Agents outside the rear entry to the residence observed Baldock standing inside the residence with his hand on a holstered pistol. An agent repeatedly ordered Baldock to drop the gun while identifying himself as ‘FBI.’ Baldock then brandished the firearm and began shooting at the agents,” Lowery wrote.

FBI agents returned fire, wounding Baldock. An agent also was wounded.

Lowery’s affidavit notes agents were wearing clothing that clearly identified them as law enforcement.

The wounded agent, who has not been named, was released from the hospital the same day.

Baldock and Wallace each face up to 10 years in prison if convicted on the civil rights intimidation charges. Baldock faces up to 20 years on the aggravated assault charge

The two were indicted for intimidating and threatening Pulaski citizens between November 18, 2018 and Sept. 24, 2019, according to an indictment filed Feb. 27 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky.

The two men “conspired together to injure, oppress, threaten and intimidate” through bogus “unreasonable searches and seizures” that took property without probably cause, according to the charges.

Both men face March 11 trial dates, although that date may be continued. Wallace is free on his own recognizance.

Prosecutors say a trial could last five days.

The county’s three other constables aren’t named in any investigation.

Wallace is a veteran constable first elected in 2006 who frequently posts bold press releases on his Facebook page about his crackdown and arrests on drug dealers. He attracted attention last fall when he started placing signs in yards saying “This Drug House Closed for Business, Compliments of the Pulaski County Constable’s Office, Michael “Wally” Wallace.”

The Grand Jury alleges his efforts to clean up the community went too far, violating civil rights along the way.

The 55-year-old Baldock was elected to the open District 4 seat in November 2018, only a short time before he allegedly started to conspire with Wallace.

A 1982 graduate of Casey County High, he’s sold farm gates for years, owning Gary Baldock Farm Gates, according to his LinkedIn page. He was a sheriff’s deputy in Casey County from 1987 to 1994 and in Pulaski County from May 2015 until June 2018 when he stepped down to run for office.

The FBI apparently began its investigation last fall and had notified local prosecutors. At least part of the probe targets searches where confiscated items were not reported or under-reported. That included money and other items.

Wallace has been speculated as a possible sheriff candidate in two years and he has dozens of criminal cases pending from his drug arrests. Those cases could come under scrutiny based on the criminal charges against him because defense attorneys almost certainly will argue their clients are the victim of false arrests.