- Associated Press - Thursday, April 6, 2017

PADUCAH, Ky. (AP) - A retired western Kentucky jailer has pleaded guilty in a kickback scheme stemming from a $3.3 million jail expansion.

The U.S. attorney’s office said 59-year-old Ricky Parnell of Hickman pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court in Paducah to fraud for using his position to solicit and take payments and gifts from contractors in exchange for influencing bids.

The prosecutor’s office said in a news release that Parnell admitted directing contractors to overcharge Fulton County for services and supplies, which resulted in kickbacks to Parnell. The release said Parnell received at least $175,000 in money and other items.

Three of the four contractors from Kentucky and Tennessee who were charged have pleaded guilty to fraud.

Parnell is scheduled for sentencing July 3.

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