By Beth Musgrave
FRANKFORT — Lawyers for former Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer want federal prosecutors to provide all documents that could be used against Farmer and want all criminal records of any potential government witness.
In documents filed in federal court Monday, lawyer J. Guthrie True asked a judge to compel prosecutors to turn over reams of information to Farmer’s defense team. The items requested include criminal convictions of any potential witness, details of any deal brokered by federal investigators in exchange for testimony or evidence against Farmer, all documents the federal government plans to use in the expected three-week trial, and a summary of all witness testimony. Such discovery requests are common in criminal cases.
Federal prosecutors have already turned over 16 compact discs to Farmer’s lawyers, according to previous court filings.
Farmer has pleaded not guilty to charges relating to the alleged misuse of approximately $450,000 in taxpayer funds. He is accused of giving plum gigs to friends — including a girlfriend — who performed little or no work, taking guns and other gifts intended for a 2008 agriculture convention, and taking state refrigerators, computers and other equipment. Farmer, who was agriculture commissioner from 2004 to 2011, is also a former University of Kentucky basketball stand out. He is currently unemployed.
A federal magistrate judge has set a trial date for July 2, but True has requested a delay until February 2014. Prosecutors have asked for a fall 2013 trial date.