Whitley County Sheriff Hodge Should Resign

Yesterday I highlighted two audits of Whitley County Sheriff Lawrence Hodge.

Tens of thousands of dollars just missing, shoddy records and massive corruption.

And last night the Herald-Leader’s Bill Estep shared additional details.

That’s on top of an ongoing federal investigation.

So what happens next?

Hodge has abused his authority and embarrassed Southeastern Kentucky for long enough. This level of corruption cannot be tolerated in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

We call on Sheriff Hodge to resign immediately.

Telephone him at (606) 549-6006 ext 6007 if you think it’s time for him to leave office. You may also email him at wcso@2geton.net.

P.S. Here’s this story from WKYT.

Audit Reveals Major Corruption in Whitley Co

A couple days ago, news broke of the ATF taking over a break-in investigation at the Whitley County Sheriff’s office.

Whattya know? There’s more trouble for the sheriff. Auditor of Public Accounts Crit Luallen has released (you guessed it) two audits of the Whitley County Sheriff showing a total deficit of more than $216,000. The audits have been referred to the FBI for a $92,015 deficit. In June, five sheriff’s audits were referred to the FBI for a $124,000 deficit.

Some highlights:

  • 2008 fee account, used for day-to-day operations, had a $4,426 deficit
  • 2007 fee account was used for 2008 fee receipts, creating a cumulative deficit of $15,054, including $10,628 from the 2007 account.
  • The tax account has a deficit of $87,589.
  • The audits recommend personal funds be used to cover the deficits

From a random sampling of taxpayer checks to the sheriff, auditors found:

  • Eight taxpayers’ checks for 14 tax bills totaling $3,600 more than the amounts marked as paid on the tax bills and reported by the sheriff’s office
  • Three of these 14 bills were marked as if they were paid during the face period and were reported to the taxing districts at the face period amounts.  However, the sheriff’s office received payment at the five percent penalty amount.
  • The remaining 11 bills were marked as if they were paid during the five-percent penalty period and were reported to the taxing districts at the five-percent penalty period amount. However, the sheriff’s office received payment at the 21-percent penalty period amount.

Auditors found that the sheriff didn’t maintain proper documentation for receipts and disbursements of the drug and alcohol account. This has occurred in previous audits of the office.

It only gets worse from there, so let’s dig in to the 2007 tax account and 2008 fee account audits…

REPORT OF THE AUDIT OF THE WHITLEY COUNTY SHERIFF’S SETTLEMENT – 2007 TAXES

The Sheriff’s Office Did Not Properly Account For And Distribute All Tax Payments Received From Taxpayers — As I mentioned earlier, 8 taxpayer checks for 14 tax bills totaled $3,600 more than the amounts marked as paid on the tax bills reported by the sheriff. 3 of the 14 were were marked as if paid during the face period. However, the sheriff received payment at a 5% penalty. The other 11 bills were marked as if they were paid during the 5% penalty period but were paid at the 21% penalty amount.According to the audit, supplemental reports can be used to conceal the theft of tax payments.

The sheriff didn’t respond.

The Sheriff Should Not Deposit Fee And Drug Account Money In His Tax Account — 127 checks that should have been deposited in the 2007 fee account totaling $3,923, one drug fund check totaling $1,400 and 239 checks meant for the 2008 fee account totaling $25,677 were deposited in the 2007 tax account.

3 of the 2008 fee checks totaling $10,029 were reimbursements for 2008 deputies’ salaries paid with Kentucky Law Enforcement Foundation Program Funds. 2 other 2008 fee checks totaling $5,023 were payments to the sheriff’s office for transporting prisoners and serving as a bailiff of the court. All 5 of the payments were posted to the 2008 fee receipts ledger. The auditor found that deposit details were altered after deposits had been made. They were able to determine that several smaller checks and cash made up the deposits to the 2008 fee account.

The sheriff didn’t respond.

Trust me – you’re going to want to read the rest of this mess after the jump…

Read moreAudit Reveals Major Corruption in Whitley Co

Why Is Cockfighting a Problem in Kentucky?

See for yourself:

Click here.

Watch the video and read the story.

Meanwhile, House Speaker Greg Stumbo, a former attorney general, said he’s not sure cockfighting should be illegal. “A lot of people argue that it’s a tradition in our country — dates back to Thomas Jefferson and George Washington,” Stumbo said.

“I don’t necessarily believe that it’s the worst crime that’s ever been committed.”

That’s right. Uniformed police officers caught on video at a cockfight. And Greg Stumbo essentially endorsing the practice.

What Stumbo isn’t saying, however, is rumored to have once stopped a raid in Pike County while he was Attorney General because – get this – one of his relatives was involved in the cockfighting pit.

Welcome to the Commonwealth.

Tuesday Morning Dept of Newberry = WATB

Get thee to Frankfort tomorrow to rally for equality. It’s maybe your final chance to scare the bejeebers out of Gary Tapp. [Page One]

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has taken over a break-in investigation at the Whitley County Sheriff’s office. I hear there could be major news coming on Thursday. [Corbin Times-Tribune]

Will Obama fund the national parks? Or will he let them linger? [Take Action]

Are coal operators gaming the system to stay in business? You’ll want to read this story. Meltodown in 3, 2… [C-J]

I hear Jerry Abramson was in Morehead yesterday dining at the Ponderosa. I would have paid to see that. [Spotted]

One of the many reasons I like First Lady Jane Beshear: She’ll be speaking at the Kentucky Association of Food Banks press conference this morning at 10:00 A.M. Hunger in Kentucky 2010. Capitol Rotunda. So please show up to photograph her, get fancy teevee footage and write about her, you newsie people. [Press Release]

Here’s more proof that King Coal will support a Republican over Daniel Mongiardo. [National Journal]

HAHAHA! PEE ALERT! Jim Newberry is pissed that Joe Sonka will be asking him questions at tomorrow’s Lexington mayoral debate. I guess Newberry is happy I turned down the opportunity to question his corrupt ass. I LOVE that Newberry’s crew is focusing on Joe instead of the race. Shows how incompetent the guy has been. [H-L]

Could PhRMA be destroyed by the new health care bill? [Sunlight Foundation]

Rand Paul’s campaign meltdown over Trey Grayson’s first campaign ad is hilarious. Apparently it’s okay to say coal is dirty one day and suggest it’s taken out of context when you get called on it. [H-L]

Will anybody really complain over two cut school days? Teachers? Students? Everyday constituents? Apparently not. [Ronnie Ellis]

Sometimes It Snows When They Say It's Gonna

Governor Steve Beshear, whose ties to the payday loan industry are no secret, released this statement late yesterday: “This legislation is the right move to protect families, especially in these difficult economic times.  Many individuals and families use payday loans as a short-term fix for a long-term problem, and some interest rates reach 400 percent, making it nearly impossible to dig out of that perpetual debt.  A cap of 36 percent interest mirrors the federal government’s cap on what may be charged to our military personnel.  It’s a smart and sensible bill for Kentuckians.” [Press Release]

What the hell is going on at the University of Louisville? How is UofL so g.d. wasteful? JESUS H! Remember when I did those records requests to find out what UofL had spent on public relations? Turns out they were hiding it all via the foundation. [Ryan Alessi]

When will Mitch McConnell apologize to law enforcement for his ridiculous attack last week? [Think Progress]

Take a look at Barack Obama’s 2009 state-by-state approval/disapproval numbers from Gallup. [Click the Clicky]

Phillip Bailey went to the Louisville mayoral forum last night. Dig in and read all about it. Lisa Moxley is spot-on when it comes to the film tax incentive. Kentucky needs to do a better job at beefing that up. Jim King apparently started showing his actual personality, which consists of a real human being and not just a numbers robot. Good for him standing up to the press. [Fat Lip]

Trey Grayson is up on the radio. I’m too tired lazy to upload it from the press release, so go here to listen to it. [Bluegrass Politics]

Pulaski County Republicans do not care for Rand Paul and told him he wasn’t welcome at their event. [Joe Arnold]

The clock is ticking, Mitch McConnell. You need to apologize to the FBI and law enforcement for your ignorant remarks. [Politico]

The mainstream press hopped on the Bible bill I wrote about yesterday. [Bluegrass Politics]

It’s interesting to see particular folks shilling for the payday loan industry. I guess PR guys who harp on every issue under the sun are real experts. Ha. Also interesting to see Jeff Greer continuing to screw thousands of Kentuckians. [Ronnie Ellis]

Republicans are wondering whether or not Rand Paul’s campaign is coming apart at the seams. [Bluegrass Bulletin]

Your Evening Dept of Boogers & Crazy Geriatrics

HILARIOUS rumor: I hear the infamous Thom Karmik is headed back to Kentucky. Who will he be working for? Greg Fischer? [Hilarious Rumor]

UPDATE: The Fischer Campaign tells me Karmik would NEVER be hired by them. So, who is it? Mongiardo? He’s hopping his butt around Louisville talking to everybody.

FINAL UPDATE: Looks like he’s working for David Tandy. Hahahahaha.

Former Lt. Governor Steve Pence endorsed Republican Bruce Wicker for Congress in Kentucky’s 3rd District against John Yarmuth. [The ‘Ville Voice]

Now go to bed, you silly old fart! [Fat Lip]

Boogers, Lies and Videuhtape. [Barefoot & Progressive]

It’s time for some WHAS11-Kentucky Kingdom schadenfreude. [More VV]

What is it with Uncle Tom Riner putting his personal benefit ahead of all else? His lame measure wouldn’t stand a chance on its own in either house of the legislature. [Page One Gets Comments]

HAHAHAHA. [Wonkette]

Go watch Teabagger Chief Randy Rand Paul on CNN. He says he can win without the GOP’s help. [Bluegrass Politics]

Fancy payday loan shark rumor: I hear the House Democratic Caucus has a fancy slush fund with about $500K from three industries: payday loan sharks, king coal and the nursing home industry. Imagine that. [Fancy Frankfort Rumor Mill]

Tonight’s scheduled guests for Comment on Kentucky are: Linda Blackford (Herald-Leader), Ronnie Ellis (CNHI) and Stephenie Steitzer (Courier-Journal). Tune in to KET 1 at 8:00 P.M. Eastern! [Press Release]

Mitch McConnell should issue an official apology to federal law enforcement everywhere. [Think Progress]

Loren Carl Nominated for U.S. Marshal

Loren Carl, District Coordinator for Ben Chandler since 2004, has been nominated by President Barack Obama to serve as a U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of Kentucky.

From the press release:

He is also a Director of the Woodford County Kentucky Bank Board. Carl was the Chief of Police at the Woodford County, Kentucky, Police Department from December 2003 to April 2004, and a detective with that agency from 1980 to 1985.  From 1996 to 2003, he was the Director of the Financial Integrity Enforcement Division of the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office.  He served as Sheriff of Woodford County from 1986 to 1996 and was a deputy sheriff from 1978 to 1979.  Prior to his law enforcement experience, Carl was a manager with the Kentucky Finance Company from 1973 to 1977.  He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1969 to 1971.  Carl received a general business certificate from Kentucky Business College in 1971.

Congrats to Squirrel!