Former Ky. ag commissioner asks for unemployment

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Former Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer has asked for unemployment benefits.

The Courier-Journal reports that the state agriculture department confirmed it had records pertaining to Farmer's unemployment application but could not release them. Holly VonLuehrte, the agency's general counsel, says state law requires the records to remain confidential.

The newspaper submitted a request under the state's Open Records Act for his application. Farmer served as commissioner for eight years, making a yearly salary of more than $110,000 when his term ended. He left office Jan. 1.

Elected public officials are not eligible for unemployment benefits under state unemployment compensation law. If the claim were approved, he could have received $415 a week.

State officials say they couldn't remember the last time an elected state official asked for unemployment benefits.

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