HARLAN COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - A judge dismissed criminal charges against Harlan County Judge-Executive Joe Grieshop on Friday during a preliminary hearing.
He faced several charges including burglary and theft related to moving Chaplain Corps property. The judge ruled there was no criminal intent.
After testimony from several witnesses in a preliminary hearing, the special-appointed judge dismissed charges of burglary, theft, official misconduct and retaliation against a witness.
"The case was a sham," said Steve Romines, defense attorney for Grieshop.
Sheriff Marvin Lipfird filed the charges regarding property the Chaplain Corps had in a county building two years ago.
The Sheriff testified when a company wanted to rent the building, Grieshop moved the chaplain property out of the building to the jail or other places.
The judge ruled it did not appear Grieshop had any criminal intent.
"There is literally no evidence the judge committed any crime. The fact that we had to go through this exercise is ridiculous," said Romines.
Special prosecutor Jesse Stockton and Sheriff Lipfird did not comment on the dismissed charges.
The judge dismissed the charges without prejudice which means it could be presented to a grand jury at a later time.
The judge also told the Sheriff and Chaplain Corps they could file a civil suit in the matter.
Due to other possible legal action, Judge-Executive Grieshop is not talking publicly about the case but his attorney says he is moving on.
"Judge Grieshop will get on with trying to better Harlan County," said Romines.
Judge-Executive Grieshop returned to work after court.
A judge has dismissed charges on Southeast Kentucky Judge-Executive.
A special-appointed judge said that no witnesses in a hearing proved that Harlan County Judge-Executive Joe Grieshop had criminal intent and dismissed all charges Thursday.
We will have more on this developing story.