Letcher County Coroner Has Resigned

The Office of the Attorney General announced this morning Letcher County Coroner John Cornett is resigning as part of a plea agreement. Guilty on seven counts of doctor shopping– or, technically, unlawfully obtaining a prescription for a controlled substance by fraud.

His wife, Andrea, a nurse at Whitesburg Appalachian Regional Hospital, also pleaded guilty to four counts of theft of a controlled substance. The couple were indicted in November 2008 after a KSP investigation.

He’s resigning from his elected office today and has been sentenced to pre-trial diversion for three years. Both Cornetts will undergo treatment.

Update: Cybersafety Legislation Promoted Today

Today Attorney General Jack Conway and Rep. Johnny Bell of Glasgow outlined legislation that will help protect Kentucky children from scary MySpace perverts and Secret Internet Fatties (SIFs).

House Bill 315 has 21 co-sponsors and prohibits registered sex offenders from using social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook. It also creates the crime of phishing, a popular internets practice criminals use to represent themselves as someone they’re not by using private personal information (assuming your identity) they’ve stolen.

“This bill is the result of combing through the Kentucky Revised Statutes and bringing our laws up to date with changes in technology,” General Conway said. “I’ve listened to law enforcement officers and parents in every corner of the Commonwealth, and this is legislation we desperately need to help keep Kentucky families safe from online predators and criminals.”

Some highlights of HB315:

  • Requires sex offenders update their email addresses and online identifiers with the registry in a similar fashion as they update their physical addresses.
  • The bill codifies the Kentucky State Police Department’s current practice of making emails available in a searchable database that is accessible to the public. The bill would further require that online profiles, such as those used on MySpace or Facebook, also be included in the searchable database. Email addresses will be removed from individual pages on the registry because of the concern that sex offenders may use these email addresses to communicate with each other or create online communities.
  • Amends Kentucky’s stalking statute to include cyberstalking, recognizing that threats or harassment can take place online and in person.
  • Closes a loophole in current law by clarifying that is a crime for a person to transmit live sexually explicit images of themselves to minors over the Internet or other electronic network via webcam or other technological devices.
  • Allows police to seize personal property, such as a computer or car, which has been used by a predator in the commission of sexual offenses against children.
  • Grants administrative subpoena power to the Office of the Attorney General when investigating online crimes involving the sexual exploitation of children. This gives investigators direct access to secure relevant information that will help officers identify perpetrators in these cases.

The legislation is being presented at this very moment by Rep. Bell and General Conway during a meeting of the House Judiciary Committee in room 171 of the Capitol Annex in Frankfort.

Protecting You From MySpace Perverts

Praise Allah and Jeebus that Attorney General Jack Conway is protecting us from the MySpace perverts!

Honestly, though, despite the crap we give him over cyber safety initiatives, this is a good deal. Because keeping Kentucky children safe from secret internet fatties (SIFs) is important.

The AG and Rep. Johnny Bell will outline their expanded cybersafety legislation tomorrow morning at a press conference and in the afternoon before the House Committee on the Judiciary.

Afternoon Time Wasting… WE’RE FROZEN UGH

Governor Steve Beshear’s State of the Commonwealth Address is scheduled for tomorrow at 7:00 P.M. Eastern. You can view it live on KET or, most likely, live on KET.com. Personally, we think it should be rescheduled (if that’s legal or not against KRS) because of the ice storm. Just like we think the legislative session should have been pushed back a couple weeks since KRS doesn’t require it end until April 15th. Whatever. Nice way to exclude half the state while it’s crippled beneath a blacked out freeze. [Press Release]

EDIT: A press release we received yesterday says the SoC will be available live online HERE. Will be archived there as well.

Okay. We’re pretty sure that it’s time for comprehensive tax reform. Because no one can pay their taxes. Not Republicans, not Democrats. No one. [MSNBC]

Pee Alert: Jim Bunning says he’s going to raise two million dollars in the second quarter. [AP]

We’ve been seeing this photographs of Paul Hornung for a couple weeks now. Does it look like he’s turning into a ghost or is it just our failing eyesight and old age? [C-J]

Larry Dale thinks the slots bill will die because of Jerry Bronger’s taint. [Larry Dale Keeling]

Democrats pushing legislation to waive ten missed school days in Kentucky? This is absurd! What’s wrong with pushing the school year into June? Absolutely nothing. There’s no reason the school day can’t be extended and no reason the year can’t be extended. Talk about disregard for education and the public good! What a waste of time and money. [Stephenie Steitzer]

What are your thoughts on take-home police cars? [The ‘Ville Voice]

The Justice Department is quickly undoing everything the Bush Misadministration ruined. Leslie Hagen, who was dismissed over rumors that she was a lesbian, has been rehired by the department. Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is against Justice Department rules, but Alberto Gonzales fired her anyway. [NPR’s All Things Considered]

Thanks to Joe Gerth for finally getting back to writing hilarious stories. This one is about how the GOP hates Jim Bunning and wants to disappear him to a nursing home somewhere. And what’s wrong with plaid pants and striped shirts? [Joe Gerth]

P.S. Jim Bunning is still trying to out shout Mitch McConnell. [Haha]

OAG Announces Wrongful Registration Indictment

The Office of the Attorney General’s Special Prosecutions Unit just announced the indictment of Stephen Ray Thomason. Thompson, a convicted felon (murder), allegedly wrongfully registered to vote after his homicide sentence was probated in 1973.

From the release:

The indictment is based on allegations that Thomason pled guilty to a felony charge of homicide in the 1971 death of Eugene Kaufman Sr. in Jefferson County. On November 16, 1972, Thomason was sentenced to three years in prison. The sentence was probated. Thomason then registered to vote in Bullitt County on January 19, 1973.

Kaufman’s surviving family members brought the matter to the attention of the State Board of Elections in the fall of 2008. The Office of the Attorney General assisted the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) in confirming that the defendant was indeed a convicted felon who had not had his civil rights restored.

He’ll be arraigned in Bullitt County on February 16th. Wrongful registration, under KRS 124.020, carries a penalty of one to three years in prison.

Thomason has since been removed from the voter rolls.

Tuesday Dept of Snow’s Coming, Maybe?

Thanks for all the birthday wishes yesterday, folks.

The Legislative Session ramps back up in Frankfort today so we’re in for an interesting few weeks. Get ready, ladies, because there’s going to be all kinds of bickering, yelling and hand wringing.

Governor Steve Beshear has asked President Barack Obama for federal assistance to pay for the ice storm cleanup. [Bluegrass Politics]

Is 30 cents the new cigarette tax hike amount? Mark Hebert thinks so. [Hebert]

Greg Stumbo and David Williams are reviving the old capitol tradition of a joint Friday press conference. [Stephenie Steitzer]

As a reminder: If you suspect price gouging related to the ice storm? Contact the Office of the Attorney general at 1-888-432-9257 or email icestormcomplaints@ag.ky.gov. [Press Release]

WAIT WAIT! How hilarious is THIS mess? Daniel Mongiardo will be speaking to the Young Professionals Association of Louisville about– get this– “Diversity in the Obama Age.” HAHAHAHA! We hope Dr. Ricky Jones, Rico Nieto, Bonita Black and Julie Tam ask Mongiardo about his fancy gay panic that started in 2004. [YPAL]

Miss the Super Bowl? Watch the commercials. On the internets. [Huffington Post]

Senate Republicans are queening out over Barack Obama’s stimulus plan. The interesting thing? The Senate GOP’s stimulus plan hocked by Mitch McConnell costs 3.5 times as much! [Think Progress]

Jack Conway on Cyber Safety & the Weather

Here’s Jack Conway’s latest…

For the second time in just six months, Mother Nature has again tested our resolve. The destructive winds that swept across Kentucky in September have been replaced by snow, ice and bitter cold. Although very different storms; the end result is much the same. A record number of Kentucky families are again without power, homes are damaged, lives have been lost and Kentucky is in a state of emergency. My thoughts and prayers are with the more than 600,000 families who lost power in the wake of this devastating winter storm.

It is during times of natural disaster that we see both the best and worst in people. In September, I was reminded time and again of what it truly means to be a Kentuckian; neighbors helping one another and strangers coming to the aid of those in need. However, we were also reminded that there are people who seek to profit while others suffer.

That is why Governor Beshear and I have again acted quickly to ensure that those who have fallen victim to the winter storm will not be victimized a second time by storm related price-gouging.

Read the rest after the jump…

Read moreJack Conway on Cyber Safety & the Weather