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Former KY Ag Commissioner Pleads Not Guilty in Federal Court


Updated 4/26/13 6:22 a.m.

Former Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer has officially answered his indictment on five federal charges, pleading not guilty to all of them.

Farmer pleaded not guilty in his first court appearance Thursday, where he was also informed of his rights.

"We're glad to finally get the initial appearance out of the way, we're going to be ready when trial time comes and the rest of the story will come out then," says Farmer's attorney, Guthrie True.

The appearance lasted roughly 45 minutes. Farmer was released on his own recognizance and will not be able to travel outside of Kentucky, despite a request to carry on with a planned trip to Cancun in May.True says he may appeal the denial of the trip.

"I don't know. I'll talk to Richie about that, but we knew it was pretty unlikely that he would allow travel outside the country that would be fairly unusual," he says.

Farmer could face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for each of the five counts—four of which include misuse of funds and one charge of abusing his position as commissioner.

The trial is currently slated for July 2, but will likely be pushed back.

Kenny Colston is the Frankfort Bureau Chief for Kentucky Public Radio (a collaborative effort of public radio stations in Kentucky). Colston has covered Kentucky's Capitol and state government since 2010. He is a Louisville native, and a graduate of the University of Kentucky. When he's not tracking down stories about Kentucky politics, you can often find him watching college sports, particularly football.
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