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Two commonwealth's attorneys expelled from state prosecutors association

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Two commonwealth’s attorneys have been kicked out of the Kentucky Commonwealth’s Attorneys’ Association, a state group representing the prosecutors, following reports of misconduct by the pair.

Kentucky Commonwealth’s Attorneys’ Association President Carrie Ovey-Wiggins — the commonwealth’s attorney for the 56th Judicial Circuit serving Caldwell, Livingston, Trigg and Lyon counties — in a statement said information that came to light on prosecutors Rick Boling of Hopkinsville and Ronnie Goldy of Morehead fell “well below” the standards needed for commonwealth’s attorneys to maintain public trust.

“Serving as an elected Commonwealth’s Attorney is a privilege, and so is membership in this Association,” Ovey-Wiggins said. “While we do not have the authority to take any formal action regarding their status as elected Commonwealth’s Attorneys, we feel this action is necessary to express our objection to such behavior.”

The Kentucky Supreme Court issued a show-cause order in May against Rick Boling, the 3rd Judicial Circuit commonwealth’s attorney serving Christian County, over whether his law license should be suspended. The May order followed reports that Boling had falsified testimony that resulted in an indictment, among other professional misconduct.

The Louisville Courier Journal reported last month Ronnie Goldy — the commonwealth’s attorney for the 21st Judicial Circuit serving Rowan, Menifee, Bath and Montgomery counties — had offered a defendant favors in exchange for nude videos and photos from the defendant. The newspaper cited 230 pages of messages it received between the defendant and Goldy.

According to the Courier Journal, the chief bar counsel for the Kentucky Bar Association had asked the Kentucky Supreme Court in a petition to temporarily suspend Goldy’s law license, pointing to the Courier Journal’s reporting.

Ovey-Wiggins in an interview cited that petition as reasoning behind Goldy’s expulsion and cited the May order from the Kentucky Supreme Court as reasoning behind Boling’s expulsion.

The move by the association means both prosecutors will be banned from attending the group’s annual conference and functions. Ovey-Wiggins said formal discipline of the commonwealth’s attorneys would have to come from the Kentucky Supreme Court or the Kentucky Bar Association.

A Louisville-based attorney representing Goldy said his client didn’t receive any due process ahead of the association kicking the prosecutor out.

“He's disappointed that he wasn't given the same due process that most criminal defendants would receive,” said attorney Tim Denison. “Given what they've shown us, we're fine that we’re out. Goodbye, good riddance, good luck.”

Denison said his client “adamantly denies” soliciting nude photos in exchange for favors.

Boling in an emailed statement said he disagreed with the expulsion.

“While I am disappointed that the Association felt the need to take such drastic action, toward my membership, their actions will have no effect on my performance,” Boling said.

"Liam Niemeyer is a reporter for the Ohio Valley Resource covering agriculture and infrastructure in Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia and also serves Assistant News Director at WKMS. He has reported for public radio stations across the country from Appalachia to Alaska, most recently as a reporter for WOUB Public Media in Athens, Ohio. He is a recent alumnus of Ohio University and enjoys playing tenor saxophone in various jazz groups."
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