Knott judge requests continuation of bail in vote-buying case
by Cris Ritchie
HAZARD – Knott County Judge-Executive Randy Thompson will report to a federal prison next month unless a judge rules that he can remain free while a federal appeals court considers a request for a new hearing.
Thompson and three others, John Mac Combs, Phillip Champion, and Ronnie Adams, were convicted in 2008 of using public funds to influence the general election of 2006, during which Thompson was first elected county judge. He won a second full term in office in 2010.
Thompson and the others appealed their convictions, which were recently upheld by a three-judge panel in September. Thompson is now requesting a new hearing with a federal appeals court, though his request has not yet been ruled upon, and as of press time no new hearing has been scheduled. Thompson recently received notice from the U.S. Marshall’s Service that he is to report to the Federal Correctional Institute in Lewsiburg, Pn. on Nov. 6.
In a request filed Friday, Oct. 19 in U.S. District Court, Thompson’s attorney, Kent Wesberry of Louisville, notes that his client has remained free for a number of years after he was indicted on federal vote-buying charges in 2007, and has proven that he is not a flight risk, even after his conviction. Wesberry requests that Thompson remain free on the same bond until a ruling is issued on their petition for a new hearing.
In the event that a new hearing is declined or his request for an extension of bail is denied, Wesberry requests that Thompson remain free until at least the first of the year in order to prepare for a transition of his duties in Knott County.
“As the court is aware, Thompson served as Knott County Judge Executive and it will take some time to transition his responsibilities prior to the surrender date,” the request reads.
Similar requests for a continuation of bail pending the appeal have also been made in the cases for Combs, Champion, and Adams, according to court records.
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