Drunk driving counselor under investigation closes Fairdale busi - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Drunk driving counselor under investigation closes Fairdale business

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LOUISVILLE, Ky., (WDRB) -- A state alcohol abuse counselor accused of falsifying documents has agreed to close his business.

At the beginning of a hearing Wednesday where Rick Shelton was expected to appeal the state's revocation of his certification and that of his business, Shelton Counseling, an attorney for Shelton said they were instead withdrawing their appeal.

Attorney Jonathan Hodge told Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services officials that Shelton and his wife have health problems and he would be closing his Fairdale business.

In closing his business, Shelton is not admitting that he falsified records of participants who had not actually finished mandatory treatment program, Hodge said. Shelton made the decision in order to take care of his ailing wife, Hodge said, before the cabinet could lay out its allegations.

Following the hearing, cabinet officials said they no longer plan to revoke Shelton's certification. The hearing took place through a phone conference and reporters were not allowed to ask questions.

It is unclear whether the cabinet will continue to investigate DUI defendants who were supposed to take classes at Shelton Counseling.

The issue came to light in Jefferson District Court last month when attorneys for the cabinet informed Judge David Holton that he had given a three-time convicted drunken driver his license back after the judge was wrongly informed that the defendant had completed a year's worth of required treatment.

In fact, defendant Dennis Saling had only finished three months of alcohol treatment classes when Holton was presented with a “falsified completion form” earlier this month from Shelton Counseling, according to the cabinet's investigation.

“This is a perpetration of fraud on the court,” Holton said at the time. “The integrity of our judicial system is of utmost importance.”


Both sides worked out an agreement in which Saling asked the court to withdraw the judge's order reinstating his license. Instead, Saling agreed to re-enroll in a certified DUI treatment program.

At the time, cabinet attorney Carrie Cotton would not say if the cabinet believes other defendants had been improperly given credit for treatment classes they did not attend.

Jill Midkiff, a spokeswoman for the cabinet, has said the Saling case was discovered after they received a complaint about Shelton Counseling.


A June 12 letter from the cabinet to Shelton, which notes he been certified since September 2013, said that cabinet employees had reviewed his “client records, observed treatment sessions offered by your agency” and looked at sign-in-sheets. The letter said Shelton had signed completion notices for “DUI clients that did not receive the required treatment.”

Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Leland Hulbert has acknowledged the office is investigating Shelton.

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