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.