One of UK’s “Unforgettable” players could face an “unforgettable” fine



By Anyssa Roberts | Assistant News Editor

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Former UK basketball player Richie Farmer could face the largest ethics fine in Kentucky history for state and federal government corruption charges while he was the state agriculture commissioner.

The fine is a part of a settlement agreement that was approved Monday by the Executive Branch Ethics Commission.

“There’s probably no one that comes close in terms of the number of charges and  the amount of fines,” said John R. Steffen, executive director of the state’s Executive Branch Ethics Commission.

Steffen said no exact figure has been set for Farmer’s fine. The number is contingent upon Farmer’s guilty plea on state and federal government corruption charges. However, he said the former UK player could stand to pay more than his speculated charges.

Farmer, who was a part of UK’s “Unforgettables” during the 90s, was state agriculture commissioner from 2004 to 2011.

Prosecutors say he allegedly used government employees for a number of personal jobs ranging from cleaning his home to building a basketball court in his backyard.

Farmer also hired friends and girlfriend who reportedly did little work as “special assistants,” Steffen said.

He added Farmer hosted a lavish conference paid with state funds and offered rifles as gifts to visiting commissioners.  He reportedly ordered these gifts in excess and kept the rest for himself, Steffen said.

Steffen said it’s good Farmer is being held accountable for his misconduct, and the chance of Farmer facing prison time is “100 percent, unless the judge accepts his plea.”

Farmer will enter his guilty plea on Friday. In the event his plea is not accepted, he is set to stand trial Oct. 22, Steffen said.