Suit filed to remove Knott Co. judge executive from office

HINDMAN, Ky. (WYMT) - A lawsuit has been filed to remove Knott County Judge Executive Randy Thompson from office.

Thompson was convicted in a 2009 federal vote buying case, but has kept his title, even after going to prison.

Thompson reported to federal prison more than two months ago, but never relinquished the title of judge executive. The lawsuit filed Tuesday is designed to officially remove him from office.

Some people who live in Knott County are not happy about it.

"He is such a good county judge," Harold Watley said. "He can probably run the county better from in jail than most people could out of jail."

Another Knott County resident, Ruth Hicks, said, "Randy's my friend. It doesn't please me to see him (in prison), but he's there and hopefully he'll get to come home soon."

WYMT spoke to people who supported Thompson's removal, but none of them wanted to be interviewed on camera.

Prosecutors claim Thompson has refused to resign and should be removed to make it easier for the Knott County Fiscal Court to pass a budget.

In the suit, Thompson is accused of threatening legal action against the Knott Fiscal Court, which last week voted to quit paying his salary while he serves a 40-month prison term in Pennsylvania.

If Thompson is removed, Kentucky's governor, Steve Beshear, would need to appoint someone to fill the vacancy.

The suit was filed in Knott County Circuit Court.

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