Could the resignation of Clay County Judge Exe. Joe Asher be forthcoming?

Judge Joe Asher

Clay County, KY - Please be advised that this report is unofficial and unconfirmed by any Clay County official or any of their employees.

However, that being said and with ClayCoNews along with many others happening to believe in the old saying "Where there's Smoke, there's Fire" and in this case there's smoke aplenty.

Judge Asher was arrested in August earlier this year following multiple indictments and with even more new indictments handed down in September by the Clay County Grand Jury including charges of Abuse of Public Trust and Bribery of a Public Servant, this case has been a high profile topic throughout Clay County.

And since the beginning, there has been a steady stream of information flowing into ClayCoNews regarding the case from different sources, who, (understandably) none of which are willing to be identified. This information has always alleged that Judge Asher along with legal representation were aggressively negotiating with the court & that the judge would not stand trial or spend another day in jail for the many serious charges facing him.

The latest information in from one of CCN's most trusted sources, if true & accurate confirms the above. The information alleges that an agreement has been made and that Judge Asher will submit his resignation notice (possibly even later this week) stepping down as the Judge Executive of Clay County, KY, pay a fine and leave the courthouse a free man. However, if this report is proven correct, there may be a number of stipulations attached to the alleged agreement such as paying retribution and probation etc.

Once again: Please be advised that this report is unofficial and unconfirmed by any Clay County official or any of their employees!

Prohibitions Against Wrongdoing And Removal From Office

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County judges/executive, justices of the peace, sheriffs, coroners, surveyors, jailers, property valuation administrators, county attorneys, and constables are subject to indictment or prosecution for misfeasance, malfeasance, or willful neglect of duty during their terms in office (Ky. Const., sec. 227). Statutes prescribe the manner of indictment and prosecution (KRS 61.170 and 132.370; see also KRS 63.020 to 63.180). Upon conviction of an officeholder, the office becomes vacant, but the actual time of vacancy may be determined by whether the official appeals the court’s decision (Hazelrigg v. Douglass, 104 S.W. 755 (1907)). Although conviction would not necessarily deprive an officer of the office, an officer may be convicted of official misconduct in either the first or second degree. See KRS 522.020 and 522.030. The property valuation administrator may be removed from office by the county’s Circuit Court upon petition of any taxpayer, or by the commissioner of revenue for willful disobedience of any just or legal order of the Department of Revenue, for misfeasance or malfeasance in office or willful neglect in the discharge of official duties, including but not limited to intentional underassessment or overassessment of properties and chronic underassessment of properties (KRS 132.370). The General Assembly is specifically authorized to provide other methods for the vacation of office or the removal from office of any sheriff, jailer, constable, or peace officer for neglect of duty. The legislature may also provide for the method of reinstatement of such officials (Ky. Const., sec. 227).

Other constitutional provisions deal with the wrongdoing of county officials. Section 150 disqualifies any person from holding an office of trust or profit for the elected term after being convicted of procuring election by buying votes. Section 151 requires the General Assembly to provide a suitable means for depriving any person of elective office who has procured nomination or election by the unlawful use of money. An officeholder is also deprived of office if it was obtained by fraud, intimidation, bribery, or other corrupt practice. The officeholder is responsible for acts done by others with the holder’s knowledge or instruction. All county officials are susceptible to impeachment for any misdemeanors in office (Ky. Const., sec. 68). All persons who have participated in a duel are disqualified from holding county offices (Ky. Const., secs. 228 and 239). It is a felony for county officials to directly or indirectly receive an interest, profit, or perquisite through the use or loan of public funds raised by their office (Ky. Const., sec. 173).

Officials can be disqualified from holding public office or lose their office as a result of their conduct. Public servants are subject to disqualification from office if convicted of abuse of public trust under KRS 522.050. If an officer is convicted of selling or letting an office, or prospective office, that officer is prohibited from holding the office (KRS 61.010). In addition to the constitutional prohibitions, a conviction of dueling disqualifies a person from holding office (KRS 61.100). Local officials taking bribes also forfeit their offices (KRS 432.350).

 

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