Huston Wells wins judge-executive race

Melton wins Democratic primary for sheriff, Rogers defeats Roberts for jailer and Conway holds on to win PVA

By Seth Littrell and Morgan Eads, Published:

Taking more than 50 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s primary election, Huston Wells was chosen to serve as Franklin County’s next judge-executive.

Wells won with 6,031 votes, handily beating his most vocal opponent, Chris Quire, who received 4,550. Candidates James Comer and Jim Stivers received 724 and 631 votes, respectively.

Wells said the victory was “a very humbling experience” for him, and he thanked his friends, family and supporters for their tireless work during his campaign.

“It’s such a humbling ordeal to run a campaign,” Wells said. “Just to run a campaign is so hard. Friends and family put everything they have into it.”

Wells said he is excited to start work at the beginning of his term, with a fiscal court comprised mostly of newcomers. Five of the six fiscal court seats were decided by Tuesday’s primary; Wells said he planned to host an orientation between the court members and the county’s department heads after the November general election.

Wells said his goals would be to look for ways to save money and bring new jobs into the county. He also plans to “modernize” the court through the use of social media 

and other tools in an effort to make the county government more transparent.

Sheriff wins primary

Pat Melton won a chance at another term as sheriff Tuesday after what was, for much of the evening, a neck-and-neck race against challenger Joe Banta. Melton received 6,345 votes to Banta’s 5,756.

Melton told The State Journal he was grateful to his supporters and eagerly looks forward to his showdown with Republican Derrick Napier in November.

“We’re in campaign mode,” Melton said. “We’re going to talk about our record, the issues and we’re going to keep moving forward.”

Banta told The State Journal he was proud of his campaign and everyone involved in it. He thanked his friends and family, as well as the residents of Franklin County for the opportunity to run, and said he hopes the platform issues raised by his campaign are addressed in the future.

Rogers upsets Roberts

In a landslide victory, Rick Rogers, a detective with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, unseated incumbent Billy Roberts, receiving 5,070 votes to Roberts’ 2,563. Candidates William Bell and Deron Rambo received 2,392 and 1,643 votes, respectively.

The State Journal’s attempts to reach Rogers for comment Tuesday evening were unsuccessful.

Incumbent holds on

In a close race, Property Valuation Administrator Patsy Ragland Conway won another term, over challenger Jeff Hancock.

Conway edged out Hancock with 6,070 votes to 5,894.

Fiscal Court changes

Two newcomers unseated incumbents Tuesday on the Franklin County Fiscal Court.

Fred Goins, from the second district, and Scotty Tracy, from the fourth district, ousted incumbents Phillip Kring and Larry Perkins, respectively.

Goins said he thinks organization and the amount of people involved in his campaign helped him win the seat. He won the race by a fairly wide margin with 64.71 percent — 1,441 votes to Kring’s 786.

“I thought I would win by a slim margin,” Goins said.

While Goins said he may not have agreed with every decision Kring made while in office, he said that “he has dedicated 16 years of his life … he is a good person and a good magistrate and I wish him well.”

Tracy took the fourth district magistrate seat with 55.31 percent of the vote, 958 votes to Perkins’ 774.

>In the first district — a seat held for 20 years by Jill Robinson, who did not run for re-election — Michael Turner won with 847 votes, followed by Marshall Flynn with 656, Adell Kemper with 329, Terry Sutton with 182 and Ron Moore with 142.

“I can’t express how thankful I am,” Turner said.

Now, Turner, a former city commissioner, said he will focus on the fiscal court and the issues at hand, especially those concerning the budget and the storm water project, he said.

Turner said he hopes to get input from the constituents of the first district. 

“You all have my number — please call,” Turner said.

>Donald Sturgeon won the third district magistrate office with 53.61 percent of the vote, beating out retired Frankfort Police Maj. Fred Deaton 1,136 to 983.

>In a primary race that was decided by the last precinct to have its votes counted, Marti Booth won the fifth district magistrate primary.  Booth will go on to face Republican challenger George Arvin in November.

“I’m humbled and grateful for the support shown to me in this race,” Booth said at a celebration of her victory.

Until the last precinct checked in, Kevin Moore was leading the race. The final vote tally was 626 votes for Booth, followed by Moore with 546, Vicky Parker with 332 and Gary Watts with 220.

“I was nail biting big time,” Booth said of the close race.

>Lambert Moore won re-election as magistrate for the sixth district by a wide margin over Joe Pinson, with a vote of 1,320 to 414.

See Thursday’s State Journal for precinct-by-precinct results.

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  • Gayle Woods and I both challenged FU8 aka truth-o-meter, to specifically tell us what "lies" were in my narrative and in like fashion, and like a cockroach he slithered back under the wood work once we turned the lights on. This is the same MO that he always uses when pushed for details and specifics about this case. The question remains for any one else who wants a shot at it:

    Why is there such a contradiction in the cover story and the time line?

  • need4speed, May 23, 2014 8:51AM

    "I think I'm gonna be ill."

    Too late, you already are...

  • I think I'm gonna be ill.

  • I am honored...

  • We won't stop responding to Bruno because he makes MANY valid points and he asks the questions that should be asked (although we never really get an answer) BUT he will ask! Go Bruno!  Lookie, your own little cheering section.  Everyone needs a personal cheerleader, right?  ;-)

  • People please quit responding to that Bruno person. It is obvious that "it" has an opinion on every subject under the sun (FAIL). It is also very clear that "it" needs your repy to continue to feed. Let the poor beast die by not feeding it. Come on people you are better than this.

  • truth-o-meter: "Well, maybe you missed the news buster, but we just had a VERY public trial in an open court of law. This was witnessed by all who cared to show interest it, including TV and many other reporters. And in that trial the facts proved to the judge, jury, defendants, attorneys, reporters and all others present that there absolutely were no contradictions in the facts that Sheriff Melton had explained. So says the jury! Period."

    Well buster, the "trial" was a sham as Cleveland prostrated himself to defense attorney Guthrie True and cut yet another deal with Hammond for a reduced charge and what amounts to a 17 1/2 year sentence...for the most cold blooded murder hat has happened in decades.  This is after Cleveland cut other sweetheart deals with the two other defendants to get them to testify against Hammond.  In his opening statement True said that he "plans to argue the case with allegations that a former Franklin County sheriff’s detective Matt Brown tainted the investigation?"  "True called into question several parts of the investigation by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office — specifically, parts conducted by former narcotics detective Matt Brown.  “Brown’s fingerprints are all over this investigation,” True told jurors.  Unfortunately for the public, yet another sweet heart deal was cut with True so that he did not actually expose any more of this information in open court as he did not even present any evidence in his client's defense during the trial. the judge hnd jury did not weigh in on the validity of the cover story OR the contradictions between it and the very unlikely timeline.

    The fact is that is was not incumbent upon the defense to feret through the Sheriff and Cleveland's yarn for inconsistencies with the timeline, but rather to get his client off with the best deal possible.  Mission accomplished.  We can easily assume that the evidence that True promised had given him a very large bargaining chip, as he did not even put on one witness for the defense...he didn't have to.  All that he had to do is tip his and to Cleveland and he caved under the threat of testimony about Brown and we can assume about Monroe being an apparent CI.  Keep in mind that the trial was going on during a very critical juncture in a very close campaign, and the negative publicity about these shenanigans would have been devastating to that 589 vote margin.  So, they were willing to do anything to keep that stuff under the Sheriff's hat...even let Hammond off with basically a slap on the wrist. 

    So, I challenge you again to have at it F8U, put me in my place once and for all and I will stop.  Why is there such a contradiction in the cover story and the time line?  A couple of lines will be all that is necessary.  Do tell... let's see who is really lying.  And don't get hung up in any more unsolicited bull puckey.

     

  • @F8U:

    You are attempting to convince readers here that you know what your are talking about, but don't. I will debate the truth with you anytime/anywhere. Why not reveal youself? I say it is because I can then prove I am correct. 

    1. You never answered my previous question. "Would you care to share with me what specific lies you are talking about?"

    2. Would you want me to tell the truth about Matt Brown or do you just want to keep making stuff up to misinform the readers?

    3. I don't care why you support Pat Melton. It is apparent you have drank the kool-aid he has prepared. Gullible people are often drawn into the clutches of people in power and develope a narrow vision and believe those can do no wrong.

    4. FYI: KSP Post 12 covers 7 counties not 6. They are: Fayette, Franklin, Shelby, Scott, Spencer, Woodford and Anderson. Just one more example of your misinformation.

  • BrunoUno

    1.) Mr. Brown was hired by a previous sheriff. When taking office, Sheriff Melton advised all deputies that were hired by previous sheriffs that they could stay in those positions if they held themselves to Melton's higher standards. Some deputies chose instead to leave those positions. Others that chose to stay (along with some new hires) were discharged after failing to meet Sheriff Melton's high professional standards. Mr. Brown was one of those who chose to stay. However, Mr. Brown also failed to meet those standards. When Sheriff Melton saw reason to suspect criminal activity by one of his staff (Mr. Brown), the sheriff immediately contacted the Kentucky State Police to conduct an independent and unbiased investigation. When it was discovered that Federal grant monies could have been involved in the funds that Mr. Brown allegedly "mishandled," the sheriff and KSP requested that the FBI assist with the investigation as prudence would dictate. Sheriff Melton mandated full and complete cooperation by his staff to outside investigators. In short, the investigation is NOT of the Sheriff's Office itself, but rather an investigation of a trusted employee who violated the trust of our sheriff, his coworkers and our community.

     

    2.) Mr. Banta is a good man whom I have known for over 20 years and comes from a good family that is well liked in our community. He and the State Journal have not "pushed" your points, because it would only be libelous slander. They will not lower themselves to your level of behavior.

     

    3.) Mr. Napier will not lower himself to your standards for the same reason.
    Lies are lies, no matter how many times you choose to stomp your feet and cry.

     

    4.) You keep moaning about contradictions in time-lines as did the convicted killers of Mr. Monroe. You call for the sheriff to publicly explain them. Well, maybe you missed the news buster, but we just had a VERY public trial in an open court of law. This was witnessed by all who cared to show interest it, including TV and many other reporters. And in that trial the facts proved to the judge, jury, defendants, attorneys, reporters and all others present that there absolutely were no contradictions in the facts that Sheriff Melton had explained. So says the jury! Period.

     

    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

     

    Mr. Woods, I have quietly been sitting back for the past 3 and a half years reading the opinions expressed since the Franklin County voters fired former Sheriff Steve Clark. I have known Steve for many years and eagerly supported him in his first run for sheriff. I believed then that Steve was a good man, and I still believe that to this day. With that being said, I was also one of the masses that wanted our sheriff to take a much stronger role with the law enforcement in Franklin County. Therefore, I supported Pat Melton in the 2010 election.

    Why would I want the sheriff to take a larger role in law enforcement here?

    Actually, that answer is much simpler than most might think. Over the past several decades, crime (in particular the drug trade {with its tentacles mostly stemming from Chicago, Memphis and Detroit routing much of the drugs through Kentucky State University via a few thugs masquerading as students} and the thievery required by addicts to support their habits) has steadily increased.

    Also, the dwindling budget of KSP typically leaves only 2 (yes two) troopers per shift to enforce the law outside Frankfort's city limits. Now please understand Mr. Woods, those 2 troopers must cover all of Post 12s 6 (yes six) counties. Imagine that, only 2 troopers per shift to cover 6 counties.
    Yes, during holiday periods a few more are on duty for traffic safety.

    Some would say, “I see a lot more than two!”

    Yes, here in Frankfort, we typically see a large number of state police vehicles moving about our town. But I believe you also realize that these are not road troopers on duty. The bulk of these cars are driven by higher ranking troopers and other KSP staff in administrative positions. Couple this with the presence of numerous vehicles from the KSP Academy (Instructors and Trainees); it gives the APPEARANCE of a large KSP contingent for law enforcement in Franklin County. Regrettably, they are not available for routine law enforcement for us.

    And finally... Yes, Steve's comments (in the State Journal shortly after the 2010 general election) insulting the voters for electing Sheriff Melton did nothing to help anyone. However, it is time to put all that behind us and move forward. Pat Melton is the Sheriff, and will be for the foreseeable future. Bickering about it will not help our citizens; it only serves to divide us and aid criminals. I ask that you, me and all other law abiding citizens of Franklin County band together to flush the real crap (the criminals) out of our community. Thanks

  • F8U, May 20, 2014 11:14PM

    "BrunoUno, it is now quite obvious that the voters of Franklin County disagree with your repeated ranting (much of which was copy and pasted over and over and over; posting and re-posting and re-posting for some time). Now that the voters of our county have put you in your place, would you mind taking your fertilizer to some tabloid rag site where it belongs? If you do not like the way this county is being cleaned up, you are quite welcome to leave it. Thank you..."

    Thanks for the advice...but no thanks.  I don't think that very many voters (or people) even heard about the obvious contradictions in the Sheriff's/Prosecutor"s cover story and the time line. The State Journal wasn't going to bring it up so it is up to the challengers.  My guess is that about 20 people ever even saw it on here hiiden in the comments. The Sheriff should have to publicly explain the obvious contradictions between his (cover) story of what happened to Charles Monroe that fateful Saturday night in Walmart's parking lot and the actual time line of events.  But since YOU know so much, please tell me speicifically which part of my narrative is "cooked up lies", and please be specific.  

    This really isn't about me as you are trying to make it seem, but what is right and wrong and legal and illegal.  My bet is that YOU and capitalcitizen don't know anything about it judging from your comments here.  You all are just making generalized disparaging comments because you are so far up in the Sheriff's B-hind that you look like his adam's apple. I don't take drugs of any kind and I have never been arrested for anything in my life...shucks I voted for Melton the first time around before all of his corruption warts started to show.  I will not be writing a book as this election is far from over, as is the FBI's continuing investigation and Mr. Napier isn't even warmed up yet....but he will be and he will not be so "nice".  

    Mr. Banta was very reluctant to even mention these contradictions OR anything about Matt Brown as he said that he wanted to run a positive campaign.  Well, he did run a positive campaign for sure and it cost him the election.   As the chellenger, Joe Banta was asking the folks in Franklin County to fire the incumbent Sheriff Pat Melton, but unfortunately he really did not give them a good reason to do so.   If he had just pushed the Matt Brown/FBI unprecedented investigation of the Sheriff's Office much earlier in the campaign, there is no doubt that he could have swung the few voters that were the difference in the election.

    So, have at it F8U, put me in my place once and for all and I will stop.  Why is there such a contradiction in the cover story and the time line?  A couple of lines will be all that is necessary.  Do tell... let's see who is really lying.  

  • @F8U: Whomever you are. Would you care to share with me what specific lies you are talking about? 

    @capitalcitizen: Whomever you are. I need to correct your statement. "The voters have spoken in this primary."  It was only the majority of the voters that showed up to vote that spoke. 589 votes is hardly a landslide victory against a political newcomer in Frankfort.

  • Bruno: go ahead & write that book; they will put it in the fiction section. I was also going to let that misspelling of "challenger" slide, but just cannot...."chellenger?" Really. The voters have spoken in this primary. No amount of crazy libelous posts about the Sheriff mattered. So how does that make you feel, wasting all of your time on lies that you posted for months, on a mad and obsessive vendetta that didn't pan out?

  • They were lies when he cooked it all up, and they will always be lies. 

    When people make up a lie; they start to actually believe it if they tell it to themselves enough.

    Lies are lies; no matter how many times you tell them.

    It's rather obvious that many of those slandering the sheriff are chewing their sour grapes after being busted for violating our laws. The voters know to not pay attention to such vermin.

  • bruno you hang on to all of that stuff. You might need it to write a book one of these days.

  • BrunoUno, it is now quite obvious that the voters of Franklin County disagree with your repeated ranting (much of which was copy and pasted over and over and over; posting and re-posting and re-posting for some time). Now that the voters of our county have put you in your place, would you mind taking your fertilizer to some tabloid rag site where it belongs? If you do not like the way this county is being cleaned up, you are quite welcome to leave it. Thank you...

  • As the chellenger, Joe Banta was asking the folks in Franklin County to fire the incumbent Sheriff Pat Melton, but unfortunately he really did not give them a good reason to do so.  Mr. Banta said that he didn't want to run a "dirty campaign" by publicly revealing the flaws in Melton's record...and it apparently cost him the election.  However, because Joe was so nice, maybe Pat will give him a job replacing Matt Brown.  My bet is that the Republican candidate, Mr. Napier is not going to be nearly as nice in addressing these issues.  Whether the SJ will cover it is the question. 

    That is not to say that there were no good reasons to fire Pat Melton, because there are.  Primary amongst them is the fact that Sheriff Pat Melton allowed Deputy Matt Brown to run roughshod over citizen's legal rights and the LAW in his zeal to become a vice squad drug warrior.

    The irony here is that Matt Brown has been investigated and indicted by the FBI for stealing money and personal valuables from those citizens whom he was charged to conduct official search warrants, and actually was busted by the KSP for trying to sell a stolen $11,000 diamond ring back to one of them!  The Sheriff reportedly has been telling folks that he told Brown "not to fool around with" this guy "and just go ahead and indict him", so obviously the Sheriff knew what Brown was doing...it IS a small office and Melton is a very hands-on manager when it comes to his drug task force!  Really!  

    Brown was also indicted by the FBI for stealing thousands of dollars from the so-called "drug buy" funds kept in the Sheriff's Office.  When this theft of official funds became apparent in an audit, the Good Sheriff confronted Brown who reluctantly admitted that he had taken the money...so instead of telling Brown "Your in a heap of trouble, boy!" (apologies to Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane), Melton just let him pay them back as if he had taken out an unsecured interest free loan!  Brown must have been Pat's favorite lap dog drug warrior to do this for one of his dirtiest deputies!  Keep in mind that it IS a small office and Melton is a very hands-on manager when it comes to his drug task force!  Really!

    Brown was also indicted by the FBI for being a drug dealer himself, as he was caught selling addictive anabolic steroids in at least three (3) counties. So, who was Matt Brown selling steroids to?  Who would actually BUY illegal steroids from a known narcotics detective without fear of being arrested in a drug sting...I mean besides other cops?  The answer is nobody. Who were these other cops and why weren't they arrested and disciplined?  Cops tend to take care of their own and all, but shucks.

    According to the Mayo Clinic, people take anabolic steriods (aka doping) to radically increase their muscle mass and strength. "Besides making muscles bigger, anabolic steroids may help athletes recover from a hard workout more quickly by reducing the muscle damage that occurs during the session. This enables athletes to work out harder and more frequently without overtraining. In addition, some athletes may like the aggressive feelings they get when they take the drugs." So, the next time that YOU encounter a really buff, aggressive cop (with acne?), you can thank Sheriff Melton and Matt Brown for helping to create thisTerminator!

    And then there is the 2012 brutal murder of an apparent Sheriff's confidential informant, Charles Monroe.  We know that three thugs murdered Mr. Monroe in the Walmart parking lot in an apparent drug sting gone bad in the coldest of cold blood for nearly nothing as he was not carrying large quantities of drugs or money (at least nothing was reported as recovered by the Sheriff upon their arrest less than 12 hours later). 

    How do we know that Monroe was a CI for the Sheriff?  It is the time line of the murder which is a classic case of putting the cart before the horse, where the 3 guys were in custody before or just a very few hours after the Sheriff found an unidentified stripped body on I-64 at 9:00 AM on Sunday morning and then seemingly miraculously having all of the killers who were from out-of-town in custody a scant few hours later, plus knowing all of the basic details by Sunday evening such as who the body was, who committed the murder, what was their motive, how it happened and where it occurred! We know this because the Sheriff and prosecutor Cleveland told the State Journal these things in time to be in the Monday paper.  REALLY!!  

    Now that is an extremely illogical timeline, which is something that seems to be escaping this Editor and his crime beat reporter.  The timeline does not make a lick of sense unless this was a botched drug sting and Monroe was a CI used as the bait.  

    If this crime is not a capital murder charge, what is?  Why did Prosecutor Cleveland cut sweet heart plea deals with these thugs if he wasn't afraid that Hammond's attorney wasn't going to expose the Sheriff's Office and particularly Matt Brown in some very embarrasing details about their involvement?

    In an earlier story Hammond's defense attorney said he "plans to argue the case with allegations that a former Franklin County sheriff’s detective Matt Brown tainted the investigation?"  "True called into question several parts of the investigation by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office — specifically, parts conducted by former narcotics detective Matt Brown.  “Brown’s fingerprints are all over this investigation,” True told jurors.  Unfortunately for the public, yet another sweet heart deal was cut with True so that he did not actually expose any more of this information in open court as he did not even present any evidence in his client's defense during the trial.  Hammond got off with a sentence that will make him eligible for parole in 17 1/2 years...for murdering a man in cold blood.

    The Sheriff should have to publicly explain the obvious contradictions between his (cover) story of what happened to Charles Monroe that fateful Saturday night in Walmart's parking lot and the actual time line of events. The family has said that they asked the Sheriff directly if Charles was a Confidential Informant and he said "NO".  They also said that Prosecutor Cleveland posthumously dropped all child molestation charges.  Maybe he was maintaining his deal with Charles that all child molestation charges would be dropped if he did this drug sting as a CI.  Or maybe it was to appeased the family that the good Prosecutor would clear Charles' name for them...so that they wouldn't file a wrongful death lawsuit which could be in the millions.

    And how would be paying those millions of dollars if such a suit was filed and won?  Why it would be the unwitting taxpayers who already are shelling out $1.8 million dollars a year to run this circus that we call the Sheriff's Office.  To his credit, Joe Banta did tell Sheriff Melton to his face during a 'debate" that was covered by Channel 10 but NOT THE STATE JOURNAL that never before in history has a Franklin County Sheriff's Office been investigated by the FBI! That must not be deemed newsworthy, but some poor cop sifting through some guys poop for 14 hours looking for a bindle in his bundle is news.  Go figure...

    Of course, the State Journal has made no mention of Joe Banta's comment as this newspaper is in full cheerleading mode for Pat Melton with several nice front page fluff stories a week here lately that sound like they were written for the Sheriff's office Facebook page concerning his prowess and dominion over poor people using drugs that are not on the Big Freakin' Government's approved list, which includes alcohol and tobacco, the number one and third leading causes of preventable death.

    Thanks for nuthin', State Journal.