Court Coverage

Apr 25, 2013 10:21 PM

Former UK Star, Richie Farmer Arraigned

Former UK basketball star, Richie Farmer, pled not guilty in court Thursday.

Investigators say Farmer abused his time in office, while serving as Agriculture Commissioner from 2004 to 2012.

He's charged with spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer money on everything from gifts to hotel rooms.

He's now considered "unforgettable" for a whole different reason.

It's been more than 20 years since Farmer captivated crowds on the basketball court. Thursday, he dodged reporters on his way to plead not guilty to four felony charges of misusing state money.

Inside the courtroom, the judge laid down some ground rules that Farmer must follow in the weeks before and during his trial:

He must actively look for a job. Farmer can't leave the Lexington district, except to go to Louisville to visit his girlfriend. He can't leave the country. That means his already paid-for trip to cancun, mexico to celebrate his girlfriend's 40 birthday is off.

"We know it was pretty unlikely that he would allow travel outside the country. That would be fairly unusual so we'll discuss it but it's unlikely I think," said Farmer's attorney, Gunthrie True.

According to court papers, Farmer spent thousands of dollars on gifts, hotel rooms, clothes, and computers during his time as Ag Commissioner. Investigators also say he hired friends as "special assistants" who did little or no work for the department.

If convicted on all counts, Farmer could serve 10 years in prison, and be forced to pay upwards of 250,000 dollars in fines.

"We're going to be ready when trial time comes and the rest of the story will come out then," True says.

Farmer's trial will start July 2 and it's expected to last about three weeks. But Farmer's attorney says there's no way they'll be ready in two months: he'll be asking the judge for a continuance.

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