Jury finds former Hodgenville police chief not guilty of officia - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Jury finds former Hodgenville police chief not guilty of official misconduct

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Hodgenville Police Chief Steve Johnson. Hodgenville Police Chief Steve Johnson.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A jury has found the former Hodgenville police chief not guilty of official misconduct.

The decision came down late Monday afternoon, after the jury spent roughly 30 minutes deliberating.

Dashcam video of one crime had landed the former Hodgenville Police Chief Steve Johnson in court, accused of another.

Johnson had been charged with official misconduct. It all stemmed from dashcam footage released to media outlets, including WDRB. It shows LaRue County Schools Superintendent Sam Sanders' DUI arrest in March 2014. 

Kentucky State Police charged Johnson with official misconduct because they say DUI tapes and dashcam footage of DUIs are only supposed to be used for court purposes. 

Johnson's attorney says his client was not aware of the statute, but was aware of the need to comply with open records requests from media asking for the footage. 

On the stand, former Hodgenville City Clerk MaDonna Hornback said she passed along requests from the media to Johnson. She says Johnson was "basically on his own" during that time because she and former mayor Terry Cruse were under fire, accused of stealing from taxpayers for almost two years. 

In Feb. 2015 Cruse and Hornback accepted plea deals on charges of abusing public trust and theft. 

The former Hodgenville police chief was on the stand for about a half hour, insisting he did not know it was a violation of the law to release the footage. 

The prosecution called several witnesses, including the officer who made the arrest, the new Hodgenville police chief. 

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