Knott Co. Fiscal Court appoints judge-executive; Mullins resigns as deputy judge-executive

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HINDMAN, Ky. (WYMT) - Three days after Knott County's judge-executive was removed from office, the county has a new man to fulfill those duties.

The decision was made Monday at a special meeting of the Knott County Fiscal Court, which also featured a top county official tendering his resignation.

Magistrate Jamie Mosley was elected to assume the duties of judge-executive after a judge Friday ruled that Randy Thompson could no longer hold the office. Thompson was convicted in a 2008 vote-buying case and has been in prison since December.

"They had recommended that I step up and do that," Mosley said. "And so when it came to this I guess they felt like since things were going the way they were, we should just continue and go from there."

The vote to appoint Mosley was 3-1, with Mark Chaffins casting the "nay" vote.

"He's been with Randy and Randy has been good to him," Mosley said. "So I imagine he voted how he felt like he had to vote. I have nothing against him for that. I'm still willing to help his district or whoever for what time I'm here."

Mosley will act as judge-executive until the governor appoints someone. Mosley expects that to happen sometime within the next two weeks.

The Fiscal Court also on Monday accepted the resignation of deputy judge-executive Greg Mullins.

"At some point you've got to step aside and let new fresh ideas and new people in and go forward," Mullins said. "I have no hard feelings with anybody."

Mullins was appointed by Thompson to act as judge-executive before Thompson went to prison.

Mullins is now going back to his old job as Knott County's director of homeland security.

Members of the fiscal court Monday took no action regarding county secretaries, assistants and clerical workers.

Whether to cut some of those jobs is a decision that will be made once the governor appoints someone as full-time judge-executive.

UPDATE 3/8/13 5:44 p.m.:

PRESTONSBURG, Ky. (WYMT) - An imprisoned judge executive loses his title.

Knott County Judge Executive Randy Thompson was convicted in 2008 on federal vote buying charges, but stayed out of prison due to appeals until this past December.

He is now behind bars, and today a judge ordered Thompson be removed from office.

The complaint came about three months after Thompson reported to prison to serve his sentence for felony vote buying charges.

"The Kentucky Constitution states very plainly that anyone who is convicted of a felony cannot hold public office," said Floyd County Commonwealth Attorney Brent Turner.

Turner acted on behalf of the Attorney General because the Knott County commonwealth attorney and Knott County circuit judge both recused themselves from the case.

The hearing lasted just minutes, giving each attorney a chance to make his case. The commonwealth said it was clear cut.

"We asked the judge to make that finding and to order that he be removed from office," said Turner.

Thompson's defense argued even if the constitution clearly states a convicted felon cannot hold office, it does not state how to remove the person from office.

"The Kentucky State Legislature messed up. They did not put in specific provision to allow the commonwealth to act," said Thompson's representation Terry Jacobs.

The defense also argued the conviction should only pertain to Thompson's previous term in office.

But it did not take long for the judge to decide.

"Mister Thompson has been charged. He has been tried. He has been convicted and has been sentenced in federal court. He stands as a convicted felon," said Floyd County Circuit Judge John David Caudill.

His removal is effective immediately.

The law says the governor has 30 days to appoint a new judge executive for Knott County.

WYMT on Friday talked to people in Knott County about the ruling. Their reactions were mixed.

"He was the smartest judge we've ever had," Ancel Smith said. "Very intelligent. But I don't know... he just kind of got overboard on this thing."

Another Knott Coutny resident, Stanley Slone, said, "I hate to see him leave. But, in my opinion, if you do the crime you should have to do the time."

PRESTONSBURG, Ky (WYMT-TV) --- Judge removes Knott Co. Judge Executive Randy Thompson from office.

WYMT-TV will provide any information as it becomes available.

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