New Federal Charges Handed Down Against Two Public Officials

Embezzlement of federal money is added to a list of drug charges in the federal indictment of a Manchester city official. Former 911 Director Vernon Hacker is also back behind bars while both he and Former Assistant Chief of Police Todd Roberts were both arraigned on new federal charges Friday.

Vernon Hacker is back in federal custody after allegedly trying to bribe a witness and violating the terms of his bond. Court records reveal the statement of Manchester resident, Martin Lawson, who says Hacker visited him early last week. That's when Lawson claims Hacker offered him a one hundred dollar bribe. Lawson says Hacker asked him to falsely testify that he heard Bobby Joe Curry say he was going to kill Hacker. Curry has pleaded guilty in this case and is expected to testify against his alleged former drug partners in their trial.

New charges Friday accuse Todd Roberts of unlawfully converting federal funds of a government agency to the use of another. Specifically, the indictment says Roberts did embezzle, steal, obtain by fraud and otherwise without authority give more than five thousand dollars of the Manchester Police Department's federal money, to someone else.

In addition, this indictment goes back one more year, to 1999 in which both men are also accused of dealing cocaine and hydrocodone with Bobby Joe Curry.

So far, Hacker has not been charged with bribing and tampering with a witness, although an F.B.I. agent and the Laurel County Sheriff's chief deputy recommends the charge in an affidavit.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Smith suggested the federal trial for Todd Roberts and Vernon Hacker may need to be pushed back, but for now it is still set for October 24th in London.


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