With her head lowered and crying quietly, Tina Conner listened as her attorney entered a plea of not guilty for one charge of mail fraud in U.S. District Court.
Conner, the one-time mistress of Gov. Paul Patton, was in Frankfort Wednesday at the John C. Watts federal building for arraignment. The charge stems from an investigation into allegations made by Conner that Patton abused his office to influence decisions regarding her business.
Conner was indicted by a federal grand jury last month. In an ironic twist of fate, investigators reportedly found evidence that Conner had used the mail to apply for special minority status for a construction company owned by Conner and her husband.
Conner applied for "disadvantaged business enterprise," a sanction given to minority and women-owned businesses to help them gain government contracts. The Conners' business, ST Construction, was predominantly run by her then-husband, Seth Conner.
The case is set for a jury trial Oct. 6. There have been no other indictments in the case.