Thursday, February 27, 2003

Bill targets corrupt Ky. officials

The Associated Press

FRANKFORT - A House committee approved a bill Wednesday to create a new felony for public officials caught stealing money.

Under the measure, those convicted of "abuse of public trust" could face up to 20 years in prison. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Dick Roeding, R-Lakeside Park, easily cleared the Judiciary Committee. The measure already has passed the Senate.

The bill stems from the case of Ronald Epling, former Florence finance director accused of stealing millions from the city. Epling pleaded guilty Tuesday in a Boone County court to 35 counts of theft.

The law would apply to any official who intentionally takes public money or property. Those convicted could never again hold office.

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