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His attorney, Guthrie True, said Farmer’s standing as an athlete meant he often received the gifts cited by auditors ranging from sweat suits to a free load of concrete to build a basketball court at his Frankfort home. Edelen said that is among the perks that should have been disclosed on reports that all elected officials have to file.

True said Farmer received the perks mentioned in the audit because of his status as a basketball icon, not as a politician.

“Those people, as we know in our culture, all across the nation but particularly here, they’re celebrities,” True said. “They’re somewhat idols in many respects. And so I think what the auditors probably failed to recognize is that much of what he received along these lines don’t have anything to do with Richie Famer, commissioner of agriculture. They have to do with Richie Farmer, No. 32. Richie Farmer, a member of the Unforgettables.”

But Edelen said the “volume and recklessness of the abuses shock the conscience.”

“The former commissioner had state employees on state time take him hunting and shopping, build a basketball court in his backyard, mow his lawn and even chauffer his dog,” Edelen said.

The investigators cited “an extravagant conference” hosted by Farmer that cost Kentucky taxpayers more than $96,000. They said Farmer directed his staff to order lavish gifts, including rifles, cigar boxes and watches for the conference.

But investigators said Farmer took most of the items home after the conference, including 13 rifles, seven of which he later returned to the state.

Edelen said the agency purchased two 60-inch televisions and wall brackets for $4,192. One was mounted in a conference room and the other in Farmer’s office. Edelen said the state paid $60 to expedite shipping so the TVs would be in place for Farmer to watch the NCAA basketball tournament.

True said Farmer is “elated” to have the audit behind him. True said he expects no criminal charges, but he said some of the allegations could end up with a state commission that decides on administrative sanctions.

“I just don’t see anything here that any law enforcement agency is going to likely get excited about pursuing in terms of criminal prosecution,” True said. “I would be shocked.”