The Downfall of Richie Farmer (3/28/13) - WDRB 41 Louisville News

The Downfall of Richie Farmer (3/28/13)

He may have been a beloved member of "The Unforgettables." But the mark he's left on Kentucky government is likely to be even more lasting.

I'm talking, of course, about Richie Farmer, the shooting guard who dazzled UK fans over 20 years ago with his slick moves on the court and parlayed the fame he earned in Lexington into an elected position as the state's Agriculture Commissioner from 2004 to 2012.

Last week, Mr. Farmer was charged with 42 ethics violations during his tenure -- the most ever filed against a single individual in the state ethics commission's history. The charges include - but aren't limited to -- personal use of public funds, using state employees to perform personal services and "creating a toxic culture of entitlement."

In fairness to Mr. Farmer, I think it's ludicrous to claim he actually created that toxic culture of entitlement. That culture's been embedded in American life for generations and I'm sure the adulation he experienced as a Wildcat legend introduced him to it long before he ever became a public servant.

But that's no excuse for his actions. Just as in basketball, Mr. Farmer had a responsibility to play by the rules in government. His actions have dishonored the overwhelming majority of public servants who do their jobs honestly and honorably. And his eye-popping list of flagrant fouls is too long - and too "Unforgettable" - to ignore.

I'm Bill Lamb, and that's my…Point of View.

 

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