Richie Farmer's divorce trial postponed as couple tries mediation again

second attempt at settlement

bmusgrave@herald-leader.comNovember 22, 2011 

FRANKFORT — A trial in the divorce case of Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer and his wife of 13 years has been delayed until Dec. 29 as the two sides try to reach an out-of-court settlement.

Richard Guarnieri, a lawyer for Farmer, said Monday that the two sides agreed to delay a trial scheduled for Tuesday until the end of December. The parties had tried mediation before but could not agree to a settlement.

"We are going to try to go through mediation again," Guarnieri said.

Rebecca Farmer filed for divorce from the two-term agriculture commissioner on April 5 while her husband was running for lieutenant governor with Senate President David Williams. The Republican duo lost to incumbent Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear and running mate Jerry Abramson by 20 percentage points on Nov. 8.

The Farmers have three children. Rebecca Farmer filed for divorce two days after the couple separated, according to court documents.

She has given no reason for the filing in court documents but has claimed that Farmer "has limited her access to the parties' finances" and that the only money she has comes from her net monthly income of less than $1,100 as a teacher's aide in the Franklin County school system.

The Courier-Journal of Louisville reported last week that Richie Farmer had put his girlfriend on the Agriculture Department payroll on Oct. 31, paying her $5,000 a month. According to her state personnel file, Stephanie L. Sandmann was hired as a political appointee, or non-merit employee, just days before the Nov. 8 election, the newspaper reported.

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