Bardstown High School Principal Chris Pickett will continue working at the school while Franklin County Sheriff’s detectives investigate him out as a “person of interest” in a $26,000 bourbon heist, according to his lawyer.
Sheriff Pat Melton confirmed that detectives met with Pickett and his lawyer, Doug Hubbard, Monday afternoon.
“I think (Pickett) has realized that he’s not going to get closure on this thing until it’s finally solved,” Hubbard said after the meeting. “All we could do is tell them what we know.”
The sheriff’s office released surveillance footage Wednesday showing Pickett inside a Hardin County liquor store. It asked for the public’s help to identify him.
Hubbard said Pickett was out of town at the time and was “absolutely shocked” when a friend called to tell him he was being sought by authorities.
“He cooperated fully with detectives,” Melton said. “Which is what we needed him to do.”
Eric Hall, owner of Packages and More Liquors in Elizabethtown, told The State Journal the surveillance footage was taken in his store just five days after more than $26,000 worth of Pappy Van Winkle was reported stolen from Buffalo Trace distillery.
Hall said the man in the video tried to sell a large amount of the rare bourbon to store manager Ben Beach.
Hubbard said that never happened.
Hubbard said Pickett had gone into the store to see if they had any Pappy Van Winkle in stock. Pickett claims he is a bourbon collector and told the manager he “had quite a bit and wanted to add to his collection.”
Pickett left after the manager said they didn’t have any, Hubbard said.
Melton said even after Monday’s meeting, Pickett is still considered a person of interest in the case “until some things have been ruled out.”
On top of following this lead, Melton said his office is still looking at others who were possibly involved.
“We’ve always been working other leads,” Melton said. “We’ll keep following up on those.”
Hubbard said he hopes those leads will produce results — soon.
“Nobody is happy about the circumstances; that’s why we’re wishing that they make some progress in their investigation,” Hubbard said. “The sooner they get it solved, the sooner it is proven that Mr. Pickett committed no crime.”