Thursday, May 8, 2003

Former NKU foundation head pleads guilty

By Jim Hannah
The Cincinnati Enquirer

NEWPORT - The former president of the Northern Kentucky University Foundation has pleaded guilty to trafficking marijuana within 1,000 feet of the regional university.

James Alford of Highland Heights is scheduled to be sentenced June 17 in Campbell Circuit Court, where prosecutors will recommend he be placed on probation for five years.

"The conditions of the parole will be to either spend 90 days in county jail or 180 days of in-home incarceration, plus 400 hours of community service and pay a $1,000 fine," said Anthony Bracke, chief assistant for the Campbell County commonwealth's attorney.

Alford was arrested Dec. 19 and charged with trafficking more than eight ounces of marijuana, a felony. At the time, Highland Heights police said there was no evidence Alford sold drugs at the university.

Undercover narcotics agents made many marijuana purchases at Alford's apartment, according to court records. Three-quarters of a pound of marijuana, a scale, plastic bags and a .38-caliber revolver were seized in a raid.

Alford was subsequently removed as foundation president.

The foundation is a nonprofit organization that receives private contributions and gifts for the school. It is controlled by a board of directors independent of the school.

In a letter attached to the foundation's 2001 annual report, Alford boasted of increasing foundation assets by $8.3 million from previous years.

Chris Mayhew contributed to this report.


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