Burgoo: Something to stew over

January 16, 2014 

U.S. District Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove was absolutely right Tuesday when he told Richie Farmer — who pled guilty to misappropriating government revenues during his eight years as Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner — that "breach of the public trust is a very serious crime." Van Tatenhove sentenced Farmer to 27 months in federal prison, the period recommended by prosecutors, and six months more than Farmer's team proposed. "Part of my job is to hold you accountable," Van Tatenhove told the former University of Kentucky basketball star. It was a good place to stop but the judge, a graduate of UK's law school, went on to say his sentence was no reflection on Farmer's accomplishments as a basketball player and that his jersey should continue to hang from the rafters in Rupp Arena. It was a personal, perhaps even understandable comment about a once-popular sports figure. But that commentary belongs within the councils of Big Blue Nation, not the federal judiciary.

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