Hodgenville officials say burglary probe turned up missing city - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Hodgenville officials say burglary probe turned up missing city property

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HODGENVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- What appeared to be a simple burglary in the city of Hodgenville has turned into something more, now the case has become tied to the city's ousted mayor.

The Larue Co. Fairgrounds is locked up tight, but over the weekend someone broke the lock, setting off a chain of events.

"I received a call Sunday that there had been a break-in at the fairgrounds," said Hodgenville Police Chief Steve Johnson.

Johnson says during the course of that investigation, officers discovered city property inside fairgrounds buildings that had been missing for weeks.

"Maintenance workers had informed me that there were several items missing that they had not located for several weeks now," said interim Mayor Kenny Devore.

Police found about $4,000 worth of city-owned items such as decorations, lawn mowers, a popcorn popper, even a radar gun.

But what is raising eyebrows is that ousted mayor Terry Cruse, now facing corruption charges, also serves as president of the Fair Board.

At this point, no one here is ready to publicly link him to the missing property.

WDRB asked Chief Robinson if he believed former Mayor Cruse was using the fairgrounds as a place to hide or store items that had been taken from the city.

"That's something we're going to have to investigate and look into. Right now, I couldn't give you an answer, yea or nay on that," he said.

Mayor Devore says it's too soon to draw conclusions.

"I know some things were stored out there. That's what we went to recover. Whether they were taken there by the mayor or some other person, I don't know," he said.

Cruse was injured in a fall from a ladder at the fairgrounds earlier this week, and is being treated at a Louisville hospital.

His attorney, Todd Lewis, says Cruse has been hiding nothing. Lewis says it's been common practice for the city to share equipment with the fair board.

"We're talking about two public entities which for many years have apparently jointly shared several items of property anyway. As I understand it, it's not uncommon that property of either entity is found in various locations," he said.

As another twist in the situation, Chief Johnson says the original burglary was reported by Madonna Hornback. She's the former city clerk who is facing corruption charges alongside the former mayor and was Cruse's alleged mistress.

Mayor Devore believes there may be even more city-owned property that no one can find, but he says so far he has not been given an inventory of what's missing.

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