- Associated Press - Friday, March 25, 2016

MORGANTOWN, Ky. (AP) - The Butler County sheriff has been cleared of any criminal wrongdoing related to work stoppage in his office.

The Daily News (https://bit.ly/1WOk0Br ) reports that Butler County Sheriff Scottie Ward received a letter from Hardin County Attorney Jennifer Oldham on Thursday that said that Ward did not commit official misconduct by shutting down his office after he was unable to pay his road deputies.

The matter began after the Butler County Fiscal Court tabled discussions on Ward’s budget on Dec. 14. Without a budget in place, Ward couldn’t pay deputies after Dec. 20. Deputies stopped working the next day because they weren’t guaranteed a paycheck.

Butler County Attorney Richard Deye asked the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office to investigate the matter. On Jan. 26, the attorney general’s office appointed Oldham to review it.

“While I agree that certain public officials may have been less then cordial and some may regret their actions, I do not find that facts exist which would form the basis for probable cause that a criminal offense occurred during that meeting,” Oldham wrote in the letter.

The fiscal court voted 4-1 to allot $192,630 to Ward for his 2016 budget on Dec. 22 and deputies returned to work that night.

Ward says Oldham’s findings prove he did nothing wrong.

“I had no idea what was being alleged that I had done,” he said. “Getting the letter back today is proof that I didn’t do anything wrong.”

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Information from: Daily News, https://www.bgdailynews.com

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