Mark Kopp

Editor's note: This article was updated at 5 p.m. Tuesday with comments from the Franklin County Board of Education chair and information on Kopp's arraignment.

A follow-up story to this article was published on the State Journal's website Wednesday morning. Read it here

The head of the county school district was indicted by a Franklin Circuit Court grand jury on Tuesday.

Franklin County Schools Superintendent Mark Kopp, 48, of Frankfort, has been charged with criminal attempt bribery of a public servant, a Class A misdemeanor.

"I have no idea what the premise of this is, so I have no comment," Kopp said Tuesday afternoon. 

According to the indictment, Kopp "intentionally engaged in conduct which would constitute the crime of Bribery of a Public Servant if the attendant circumstances were as he believed them to be, or, intentionally did or omitted to do anything which, under the circumstances as he believed them to be, is a substantial step in a course of conduct planned to culminate in his commission of the crime." 

Commonwealth's Attorney Larry Cleveland declined to comment on Tuesday because the case is being handled by Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Zach Becker, who could not immediately be reached for comment.

"I don't know anything," FCS Board Chair Natalie Lile told The State Journal on Tuesday afternoon. 

She said she had only seen the indictment on CourtNet, had not spoken with Kopp and had put in a call to the law firm that represents the board, Chenoweth Law Firm.

As of Tuesday, Lile had not called a meeting of the board but said it was a possibility. 

Board member Chuck Fletcher declined to comment "since it is a personnel issue." 

According to state law, the charge against Kopp could mean:

• Unlawful compensation for assistance in public matters.

• First-degree official misconduct.

• Use of official positions to secure or create privileges, exemptions, advantages or treatment for himself or others in contravention of public interest.

• Use of public funds, time, personnel for private gain.

• Use of public resources for partisan political activity.

• Knowingly accepting compensation, other than that provided by law, for performance of legislative duties.

The charge is punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $500.

Under Kentucky law, if a grand jury determines that there is probable cause to believe a crime was committed but that the appropriate charge is a misdemeanor rather than a felony, it has authority to return an indictment for a misdemeanor. The indictment is remanded to district court for all further action. 

Kopp's arraignment is set for Tuesday, Oct. 15, at 9 a.m. in the Franklin County Courthouse. 

The State Journal will continue to update this developing story.

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