LONDON, Ky. — Paintsville Mayor Robert Porter and the former general manager of the local, public utility commission have been accused of misappropriating property and city resources.
A federal grand jury in London, Ky., returned an indictment today charging Mayor Porter and Larry Herald, the former general manager of the Paintsville Utilities Commission, with two counts of theft of government property. Herald was also charged with one count of intentionally making false statements to the FBI.
According to the indictment, from 2009 until 2012, Porter, with the knowledge, approval and assistance of Herald, did not pay for utilities services provided to residences that he owned in Paintsville. The total delinquency was in excess of $7,000. In addition, Porter is alleged to have used city funds to pay for personal expenses, such as maintenance on his automobiles and shipping fees for personal items. The indictment further alleges that Porter used a city owned vehicle for personal trips.
It is also alleged that, in August 2015, during the investigation, Herald intentionally made materially false statements to the FBI, about his knowledge of Porter’s delinquent utilities bill.
Kerry B. Harvey, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, Howard S. Marshall, Special Agent in Charge, FBI, and Rodney Brewer, Kentucky State Police Commissioner, jointly announced the indictment.
The investigation was conducted by the FBI and the Kentucky State Police. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kenneth Taylor and Kate Smith are prosecuting this case on behalf of the federal government.
A date for the defendants to appear in court has not yet been set. Misappropriating federal property carries a maximum penalty of 10 years and making false statements to a federal agent carries a maximum penalty of five years. However, any sentence following a conviction will be imposed after the Court carefully considers the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statutes.
An indictment is an allegation only. All defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial, at which the government must prove their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.