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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- Former University of Kentucky basketball star Richie Farmer has reached a plea deal with prosecutors that lets him avoid a potential 10 years in prison on corruption charges.
Defense attorney Guthrie True filed a motion for a change of plea on Thursday morning, signaling that he has reached agreements to resolve all pending and potential criminal and ethics charges. In a news release, True said the decision came "after much soul-searching and risk assessment by Richie and his family."
If the deal is accepted, Richie would receive a sentence between 21 and 27 months, and would pay restitution and an ethics fine of $120,500.
The release from True says, "Richie deeply regrets the pain which has been inflicted on his family, as well as any embarrassment he has caused the good people of Kentucky. In part, this is why he has decided to bring an end to what would have turned into a spectacle which would have run on for months, if not years."
Farmer was the guard for a UK team that ended up being called "The Unforgettables." He used his fame on the court to launch a political career that saw him heading up the Kentucky Department of Agriculture for two terms.
It was during his time running to be elected lieutenant governor on a ticket with then Senate President David Williams in 2011 that complaints began to surface about his management at the Agriculture Department.
Eventually Farmer was charged with 42 ethics violations, the most charges ever filed against a single individual in the executive branch ethics commission's history.
The alleged violations included using workers on state time to take Farmer and his family to medical appointments, personal shopping trips, and hunting trips.
Farmer was also cited for using state workers and state resources to mow his lawn, build a basketball court in his back yard -- even chauffeur his dog.
The statement from Farmer's attorney goes on to say, "This reality has proven to be physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially overwhelming for Richie and the entire Farmer family. Even more, Richie cannot, in good conscience, put his three boys-- who have already had to suffer through their parents' divorce-- through the stress and trauma which would accompany such an ordeal."