HARLAN, Ky (WYMT) - HARLAN, Ky. (WYMT) - A local judge executive ended up on the other side of the law Tuesday in Harlan County.
Harlan County Judge-Executive Joe Grieshop faces criminal charges for what the sheriff calls retaliation against the Harlan County Sheriff's Chaplain Corps.
Harlan County Sheriff Marvin Lipfird charged Grieshop with 3rd degree burglary, theft by unlawful taking, first degree official misconduct, and 10 counts of retaliating against a participant in legal process.
The arrest is the culmination of what the sheriff calls a two year investigation following an incident at a property rented by the Harlan Sheriff's Chaplain Corps, a 501c3 organization.
"On July 25th, 2011, the judge-executive went with county workers cut the locks off with torches, went into the building and seized the items," Lipford said.
The sheriff says the items included a freezer compressor unit, school supplies, clothing and food. The sheriff says he believes Grieshop acted in retribution against the chaplain corps.
"On July the 2nd, 2011, there was a civil suit filed by the chaplain corps against the judge executive, and on the 25th he retaliated against them," Lipford said. "It is our contention that he retaliated against them and seized the items and cut into the buildings."
County magistrates we talked to were surprised at the news, but are taking a "wait and see" approach.
"We don't know the exact details of what's going on, but we feel we've got a good and honest judge and we're all looking forward to all that's coming out and let's see what happened," said 3rd district magistrate David Kennedy.
Following his arrest, deputies did not take Grieshop to jail. Instead, the judge walked himself to the Harlan County Justice Center and posted bond, which was set at $10,000.
We approached Judge Grieshop for an interview, but he said he did not want to appear on camera until he had had a chance to speak with his lawyer.
Officials have confirmed that a Harlan County Judge Executive Joe Grieshop was arrested Tuesday afternoon.
Grieshop has been charged with third-degree burglary, theft by unlawful taking of property valued over $10,000, first-degree official misconduct and 10 counts of retaliating against a participant in a legal process.
The Harlan County Commonwealth's Attorney's office has confirmed that Grieshop has not been indicted. He was arrested and has now posted bond.
Grieshop is due in court for arraignment on June 24th.
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