- ‘Queen of Mean’ Leona Helmsley’s former home hits market for $65M
- Florida beach-goers told to beware flesh-eating bacteria in water
- Lundergan Grimes uses ‘war on women’ strategy to attack McConnell
- Rep. Jeff Miller: ‘Ain’t no leash for VA’
- Al Qaeda nets $125M from ransom payoffs from Europe since 2008
- Ohio Gov. John Kasich cruising to re-election: survey
- Landslide hits Indian village; 150 may be trapped
- Albania bank loses $7M in theft; police arrest 2
- Gov. Mike Pence irked as Obama sends illegals to Indiana on sly
- Israel, White House say Obama phone call to demand cease-fire was fake
Basketball star Farmer gets 2-plus years in prison
Question of the Day
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Richie Farmer left his rural upbringing to pursue basketball fame with the University of Kentucky and two terms as the state’s agriculture commissioner, but it was a sense of entitlement that brought down his political career.
Farmer was sentenced Tuesday to more than two years in prison for abusing his public office, hiring friends and having them do little to no work and using state employees to build a basketball court at his home, prosecutors said.
Farmer will head to federal prison March 18 to being serving 27 months behind bars. U.S. District Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove recommended that Farmer, 44, be allowed to serve his time at the minimum-security facility near his home in Manchester, the seat of Clay County in southern Kentucky where he grew up.
If the Bureau of Prisons allows the assignment, Farmer would be near his family, including three sons who are in or nearing their teenage years.
“It’s pretty easy to be a hero to your kids when your jersey hangs in Rupp Arena,” Van Tatenhove said. “Your chance to be a dad and a good dad to your kids is exponential because now you get to tell them what to do when you fail.”
Farmer pleaded guilty in September to two counts of misappropriating government resources. He was also ordered to pay $120,500 in restitution.
Farmer was a shooting guard for the 1991-1992 team known as “The Unforgettables” for their gutsy play and for turning the Wildcats around after a couple of years on probation.
Both during the sentencing hearing and outside the courthouse, Farmer apologized but didn’t talk specifically about what he had done.
“If you make bad decisions and poor judgments, you own up to them,” he said.
The judge said Farmer’s misdeeds ran wide and deep during his eight years in office.
“It’s sad to read,” Van Tatenhove said. “There is a sense of entitlement. There’s greed … kind of a culture of entitlement is not really understating it.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenneth Taylor said the sentence will ensure the end of Farmer’s political career.
“This sentence should speak more to others who might be disposed to do what he’s done,” Taylor said.
After the hearing, Farmer’s attorney, J. Guthrie True, said everyone was glad the legal battle was over.
“He served our state quite well in many respects as commissioner of agriculture,” True said. “He’s accomplished a lot in life and he’ll be able to accomplish more.”
- Boehner rules out impeachment: 'Scam started by Democrats'
- Patent workers paid to exercise, shop, do chores: report
- Fla. mom arrested for allowing 7-year-old son to walk to park alone
- CARSON: Rudderless U.S. foreign policy
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
- Obama mum on where illegal immigrant children are sheltered
- Smugglers, rainstorm combine to poke holes in border fence
- Defense lawyer: McDonnell's wife had 'crush' on CEO
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- Feds sue Pennsylvania State Police over women's fitness tests
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world