Knott County Judge Executive Randy Thompson is in federal prison

HINDMAN, Ky. (WYMT) - An Eastern Kentucky judge executive is in a federal prison.

Knott County Judge Executive Randy Thompson reported to a prison in Pennsylvania.

In 2008, Thompson and three others were convicted on federal vote buying charges.

Several failed appeals later, he was ordered to report to prison.

Officials with his office said Thompson will not resign from his position.

Last month, we asked the judge-executive about going to prison.

“It’s like asking a dying man what he would do with his last 24 hours,” Thompson said.

Just before he went to prison, Thompson put a spending freeze on county funds.

Nine days before going to prison, Randy Thompson issued an executive order, halting spending by all Knott County government agencies.

“We're in the process of reorganizing some things and trying to get back to living within our means,” Magistrate District 4 ,Calvin Waddles said.

There are some exceptions to the spending freeze. The Knott County Sportsplex is allowed to buy items as long as they can be re-sold and officials with the senior citizens center will still be able to buy food for the seniors without authorization from the judge executive.

But the center's director says she will be forced to cut some activities.

“We have Christmas coming up and that might not as be a big of a deal here as it usually is. We always try to plan something for the seniors and that will be affected by this,” Eva Huff said.

Waddles says the freeze is a step toward balancing the county's budget.

Before going to jail, Thompson gave county homeland security director Greg Mullins the authority to approve spending requests.

Mullins will act as judge-executive in Thompson's absence.

Mullins will not be able to vote at fiscal court meetings.

Ther items exempt from the spending freeze are projects funded by grants and the payment of bills.

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