Hodgenville Police Chief pleads not guilty to misconduct, hinder - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Hodgenville Police Chief pleads not guilty to misconduct, hindering prosecution charges

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Hodgenville Police Chief Steve Johnson pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of official misconduct and hindering prosecution or apprehension.

According to court documents, Johnson gave former Mayor Terry Cruse a "heads-up" when KSP was trying to serve Cruse and city clerk Madonna Hornback with arrest warrants.
 
Cruse and Hornback are accused of using city gas cards to fill up personal vehicles. In May, the city council voted to remove Cruse from office. Hornback resigned from her position that same week.
 
Cruse is charged with nine counts of abusing public trust, one count of theft by unlawful taking, two counts of breaking campaign contribution restrictions/expenditures limits, and two counts of forgery in the second degree. Hornback is charged with 54 counts of abusing public trust, and one count of theft by unlawful taking. Both have pleaded not guilty.

On June 27, Johnson was served with a summons to appear in court. The summons claims that Johnson warned his colleague of his pending arrest.

Court documents say Johnson contacted Cruse and advised him to "lay low" because the state police were looking for him. The court summons also says Johnson lied to KSP officers about the conversation.
 
According to the Commonwealth Attorney's Office, both the judge assigned to the case and the LaRue County Attorney removed themselves from the case. Nelson County Attorney Matthew Hite will now be the prosecuting attorney. Hardin County district court judge Kim Shumate will preside over the case.

Johnson tells WDRB that the allegations in the summons are untrue, and says he will continue to fight the charges.
 
A pre-trial hearing was set for Aug. 20.

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