The Kentucky Secretary of State Office confirmed they have a copy of 86th district state representative candidate Tom O’Dell Smith’s Civil Rights Restoration proclamation issued by Gov. Paul Patton in 1997.
In a previous open records request, the office responded saying they had conducted a search of thousands of online records but had been unable to locate any records. The Times-Tribune documented this search in an article, "YOU ASKED: How was Tom O'Dell Smith able to run for office after previous felony extortion charges?” which published Tuesday.
Smith declined numerous requests for an interview on previously published Times-Tribune stories.
Smith recently, however, gave the pardon to another local news source and posted a copy of his pardon to his Facebook page on Wednesday evening in response to The Times-Tribune article, but did not reach out directly to the newspaper.
The Times-Tribune submitted a copy of the document to the Secretary of State to see if the office could then locate it within its records. Within a few hours of submitting that request, Jennifer Scutchfield, assistant secretary of state, responded, “Yes – I can confirm that once we were supplied the Governor and date of the Executive Order, the documents were found.”
In addition to the original open records request filed with the Secretary of State, the Times-Tribune searched for the pardon or civil rights restoration by contacting the Kentucky Department of Corrections, the Kentucky Governor’s Office, the US Department of Justice - Office of the Pardon Attorney, and contacted Smith and his campaign.
The Times-Tribune reached out to Smith Thursday afternoon asking for an interview to include in our on-going coverage.
As of publication, the Times-Tribune has not received a response from Smith.