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After allegations against Kentucky prosecutor, what happens next?

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Posted at 6:33 PM, Jul 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-14 18:33:33-04

After allegations that a Kentucky prosecutor may have offered favors in criminal cases to a defendant in exchange for nude photos and videos, a prosecutor weighed in on what could happen next.

Commonwealth’s attorney Ronnie Goldy, who serves Montgomery, Menifee, Bath and Rowan counties, was at the center of a series of screenshots that came to light this week. The attorney who released the messages, Thomas Clay, alleges that they show Goldy offering favors to a criminal defendant in exchange for explicit photos.

The situation was first reported by the Courier-Journal. LEX 18 has since obtained the messages from Clay.

LEX 18 has reached out to Goldy for comment, but has not heard back.

Kenton County Commonwealth’s Attorney Rob Sanders said that, if true, the allegations against Goldy are “tough to stomach.”

Sanders is on the executive committee of the Kentucky Commonwealth's Attorneys Association and serves as the legislative liaison between the organization and the General Assembly. He said that currently, the only regulatory authority overseeing prosecutors in the state is the Kentucky Bar Association.

“They have the power to discipline any attorney,” Sanders said. “With all due respect to the KBA, they don’t move very fast. Their process is not our process and prosecutors by virtue of the positions we hold – we should be held to a higher standard.”

Sanders is a former member of the Prosecutor’s Advisory Council and believes that the council should have the authority to act in situations of potential wrongdoing. That would require a change of the law and Sanders said he’s approached lawmakers about it.

“We can't suspend prosecutors, can't reprimand prosecutors, certainly can't kick them out of elected office, anything like that” Sanders said. “So that needs to change.”

When asked if they are investigating the allegations against Goldy, the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office said they had not received a request for a special prosecutor to look into the situation. If they do, they can appoint a special prosecutor to review “any investigative materials and determine next steps,” spokeswoman Elizabeth Kuhn said.

LEX 18 also reached out to the FBI, and the agency said they could not confirm or deny that they are investigating.