TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

December 14, 2011

Claim filed against Hodge’s surety bond company

Whitley seeks to recover missing money from sheriff’s dept.


TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

CORBIN — Dec. 14, 2011.pdf

By Sharae Myers / Staff Writer

Whitley County has filed a claim against former Sheriff Lawrence Hodge’s surety bond company in an effort to recover missing money from the sheriff’s department.

During Monday’s Whitley County Fiscal Court meeting, County Attorney Don R. Moses said he filed the claim with Hartford Insurance Company within the last week. Moses said he believes the county is at least entitled to $200,000 from the bonding company.  

Moses said the bonding company has been helpful and accommodating and will try to process the claim as expeditiously as possible.

In February, the fiscal court authorized the previous county attorney, Paul Winchester, to initiate the claim process.

On Tuesday, Whitley County Judge/Executive Pat White said the process has taken time because the claim filing had to coordinate with other investigating agencies as well as a restitution order from the courts.

Moses said that he had to familiarize himself with the state audit reports that found money missing from the sheriff’s office before he prepared the claim.

In other business, the fiscal court again tabled a proposed pawn shop ordinance in the county. Magistrates said they want more teeth to the ordinance for law enforcement.

Whitley County Sheriff’s Deputy K.Y. Fuson made recommendations to the fiscal court about the ordinance. When it comes to background investigations on those wishing to obtain a license to open a pawn shop, Fuson said he has seen where sometimes a pawn shop will be closed down and the owner will then put the business in another family member’s name, so deputies have to start the investigation over again.

Fuson also recommended the ordinance require pawn shops to hold precious metals and gems for at least two weeks before they are sold to a gold dealer.

“We have seen many people crying over family heirlooms sold and melted down,” Fuson said.  

Moses said if the county’s ordinance is more stringent than those in the city, the county ordinance could supersede city ordinances. The court asked Moses to contact legal council for Corbin and Williamsburg to and return with any recommendations he might glean from those contacts.

Fuson asked the Court to approve the sheriff’s department’s 2012 budget so it could be prepared to apply for state advancement funds in January. Fuson said the department has collected $75,000 in delinquent taxes which could lead to about a $25,000 surplus.

White explained to the court that any surplus would have to be handed over to the fiscal court in January. The court agreed to give it back to the sheriff’s department.