Richie Farmer to report to federal prison in W.Va.

Will serve 27 months for abusing his public office

State Journal staff report, Published:

Former Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer is scheduled to report to a federal prison camp in northeastern West Virginia today.

Farmer must report to the camp at United States Penitentiary-Hazelton by 2 p.m. to serve a 27-month sentence for abusing his public office.

Farmer pleaded guilty to two felonies in September related to excess gifts purchased for visiting agriculture commissioners during a 2008 conference that were claimed by Farmer, hotel rooms used by Farmer’s family during the conference and salaries for personal friends hired into the department who did little to no work on state time.

Farmer was originally scheduled to report to prison March 18, but a federal judge extended the date one week so Farmer could watch his son play in the Kentucky State High School Basketball Tournament.

In the order granting the delay, U.S. District Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove wrote that granting that type of motion was common and wouldn’t usually include an explanation about why it was granted, but he felt it was necessary in this case.

“… in this case, the Court has some pause in implementing its usual procedure because in so doing it might create the appearance — to the Defendant and the community — that the rules are being bent for Richie Farmer once again,” Van Tatenhove wrote.

“As the Court stated at the time of sentencing, a contributing factor to the Defendant’s criminal behavior is that he has too often received special treatment to his detriment. Therefore, in granting this motion, the Court emphasizes that it is simply treating Farmer the same as any other criminal defendant — no better and no worse.”

Farmer gained basketball fame as part of “The Unforgettables” — the name for the team that led the University of Kentucky to the NCAA tournament in 1992.

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  • I think the sentance was VERY harsh,yeah he shouldnt have done what he did but ive seen people do worse and get the same or less punishment,I think the state should have made him pay back the amount he is accused of "using or taking" ie: taking the left-over gifts and hotel room usage and jobs granted to relatives (what ever), and double that, and a two yr probation sentance would have sufficed,what he did really wasnt that bad,its not like he was shifting 100's of thousands  or millions of dollars from the "State" to an off-shore bank account.I know one thing I wont be Voting "Democrat" after this "Witch Hunt"., wasnt he already out of office when "They" came after him?..

  • I just wish we could send all of the other criminals there with him.  He just got caught.  We see it happening everyday.

  • ' the Court emphasizes that it is simply treating Farmer the same as any other criminal defendant — no better and no worse.” By his own admission, Richie is no longer a criminal defendant. He is a criminal.