, Corbin, KY

April 26, 2011

Fire investigation underway at Williamsburg law office

The Times-Tribune

CORBIN — By Becky Killian

Managing Editor

Investigators are seeking the cause of an early-morning fire Tuesday that caused minor damage to the office of former Williamsburg attorney Ronnie Reynolds, according to Williamsburg Fire Department Chief James Privett.

The fire was reported shortly after midnight by a tenant who rents an apartment in the office at 225 N. 3rd St., Privett said.

When firefighters arrived, the fire was in two trash cans located near the building's front porch, Privett said. The fire was quickly extinguished.

It is unclear whether the fire is suspicious, Privett said, adding his department has handed over the investigation to the Kentucky State Police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. A state police arson investigator was at Reynold's office Tuesday, Privett said.

An awning on the building was damaged by the fire, Privett said.

Nine Williamsburg firefighters responded to the fire call. No one was injured as a result of the fire.

During a March appearance in Lexington's U.S. District Court, Reynolds, 54, admitted he and former Whitley County Sheriff Lawrence Hodge, 51, extorted money from defendants in felony drug cases. Shortly after that appearance, Reynolds was suspended for disciplinary reasons by the Kentucky Bar Association.

Reynolds, who pleaded guilty to to conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right, is set to be sentenced June 29.