A new judge has been appointed to a zoning case against McCracken County Judge Executive Van Newberry and Deputy Judge-Executive Doug Harnice.
Newberry’s attorney Will Kautz said Marshall County Chief Circuit Judge Dennis Foust will hear the case after McCracken County Judges Craig Clymer and Tim Kaltenbach recused themselves.
“Judge Clymer stated in court that he felt that there may be an appearance of impropriety if either he or Judge Kaltenbach remained on the case,” he said. “One reason being that former Circuit Judge Jeff Hines is running for the position that is now occupied by my client Judge Newberry.”
The two judges were colleagues of former Circuit Judge Jeff Hines.
“Certainly I think Judge Newberry could have gotten a fair trial under either Judge Clymer or Judge Kaltenbach, but judges are supposed to remove themselves from cases if there is any, any possible appearance of impropriety,” Kautz said.
Newberry and Harnice are accused of altering zoning maps without going through the proper legal channels. The two city officials pled not guilty at their arraignment last week.
Kautz said he’s waiting for discovery from Commonwealth Attorney G.L. Ovey, which includes police reports, witness statements and testimony from the jury. He said all the attorneys involved will now work with Foust to decide on the next court date.