Court documents point to "intimate" relationship between former - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Court documents point to "intimate" relationship between former Hodgenville mayor, city clerk

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Police seized evidence that pointed to "a relationship of an intimate nature" between former Hodgenville Mayor Terry Cruse and Hodgenville City Clerk Madonna Hornback, according to court documents.

Documents show Kentucky State Police executed a search warrant at the Hodgenville City Hall and seized financial records, documents, receipts, mileage logs and credit card statements.

Additionally, court records show that police seized a folder located in Cruse's office, containing, "confidential, non-business communications between Cruse and Hornback, including love cards, holiday cards, birthday cards and handwritten notes reflecting a relationship of an intimate nature between Cruse and Hornback."

Cruse was removed from office as mayor in May after he was accused of misusing taxpayer dollars. The unanimous vote to remove him from office came after a day-long examination of the alleged ethics violations.

A Kentucky State Police investigation has also resulted in 13 criminal charges against Cruse and 55 charges against city clerk Madonna Hornback, mostly stemming from the alleged use of city money to fill up their personal cars.

Documents also allege that both Hornback and Cruse helped their sons get jobs with the city in a possible violation of city code.

In February, according to newly obtained court documents, Cruse's attorneys petitioned the Commonwealth of Kentucky Court of Appeals, asking the court to block the Larue Circuit Court from making the results of the search warrant public, arguing that Cruse would "suffer great humiliation, and his right to a fair trial in Larue County may be limited if evidence of an extra-marital relationship with Hornback is publicly disclosed."

But on Tuesday, the appeals court denied Cruse's request, arguing that:

"Potential humiliation for engaging in an extra-marital relationship does not constitute something of a ruinous nature or incalculable damage to the petitioner. Cruse's argument that he may not be able to obtain a fair trial in Larue County based upon the extra-marital relationship with Hornback is merely speculative. Cruse retains his right to request any appropriate remedies from the trial court, including a change of venue, should it appear that a fair trial in Larue County would not occur. Additionally, nothing would prevent him from taking an appeal from the circuit court's order denying any motions to suppress evidence, should he be convicted of any offenses."
Cruse and Hornback have pleaded not guilty in their respective criminal cases and are awaiting further hearings and trials.

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