Former official gets probation on zoning charges after plea

PADUCAH, Ky. (AP) – A judge has sentenced former McCracken County Judge-Executive Van Newberry to two years of unsupervised probation and ordered him to pay $13,830.91 in restitution.

Multiple media outlets report that Newberry entered an Alford plea Monday to misdemeanor second-degree official misconduct, meaning he didn’t admit guilt but acknowledged there’s enough evidence for a conviction.

Newberry and former Deputy Judge-Executive Doug Harnice had been charged with one count each of tampering with public records. Charges against Harnice were dropped.

Both were indicted by a grand jury in January 2014 following an investigation. The two were accused of altering the county’s zoning maps without following proper procedures.

Paducah attorney Burton Washburn said he discovered the changes in 2013 and concluded hundreds of parcels had been illegally rezoned from 2007 to 2008.

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