Knott County Judge-Executive Randy Thompson and three co-defendants are scheduled to appear in federal court this month where their attorneys will argue for a reversal of their 2008 convictions for conspiring to use county resources to influence the 2006 election.
Thompson, along with John Mac Combs, Phillip Champion and Ronnie Adams, were convicted by a federal grand jury in Pike County, in part, on allegations that they had directed county blacktop and gravel be applied to private drives in exchange for votes in the months leading up to the 2006 general election, during which Thompson became the first ever Republican elected to the county judge’s office in Knott County.
Thompson received a sentence of 40 months in prison for his part, while Combs, a former deputy judge, was sentenced to 36 months. Adams, a former magistrate, and Champion, who at the time was appointed to head the county’s road department, received 32 months and 18 months respectively. Each of the men were initially ordered to report to prison on March 23, 2009, but currently remain free as the appeals process continues.
Judge Thompson is seeking his conviction be overturned or a new trial granted, according to a brief filed by attorney John D. Cline, who argues that Thompson’s conviction should be overturned because there was insufficient evidence for a conviction, and that the trial against Thompson was unfair.
Briefs filed in each of the other three cases also make arguments for a lack of proof or an unfair trial, and also seek to overturn convictions.
A lengthy brief filed by U.S. Attorney John Patrick Grant, however, argues that there was a bevy of evidence against the defendants, including fake receipts for work done on private property and several witness statements claiming that their driveways were paved in exchange for votes.
Attorneys for each of the defendants will present their oral arguments before the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, Ohio on Friday, July 27 at 8 a.m. According to the oral arguments calendar, the defense attorneys will share 30 minutes for their arguments, while the plaintiffs will also have 30 minutes before the court.