Perry County Magistrate Pearl D. "Bubby" Combs was arrested Tuesday on a misdemeanor charge of violating the county's Sunday alcohol sales ban and on a 2008 bench warrant for selling alcohol to a minor.
Agents from the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Board discovered the outstanding warrant when they cited Combs for selling alcohol on Feb. 7 at the L&R Ultimate BP in Bulan, ABC staff assistant Nathan Jones said.
Combs, who is running for judge-executive, said he thought political machinations were behind his arrest, or at least the timing of it. Combs said he used to run the BP station but now leases it to Reuben Fultz, who owns the liquor license and lets Combs work there sometimes so he can campaign at the busy store.
On Feb. 7, Super Bowl Sunday, Jerry Olinger was seen by ABC investigators John Ray Roberts and John Adkins leaving the BP with a 40-ounce bottle of King Cobra malt liquor in a brown paper bag, according to a criminal summons. When the investigators asked whether Olinger bought the beverage, he said yes and pointed out Combs behind the counter, the summons says.
Combs said Wednesday that he thought Olinger stole the beer and then lied to investigators. Olinger was later arrested on a 2005 bench warrant from Lee District Court for driving under the influence.
Jones said the state agency had received anonymous tips that led investigators to conduct random inspections at that BP.
In 2008, Combs was cited for selling alcohol to a 19-year-old and failed to appear in court, so a bench warrant was issued. Combs said he knew the buyer and thought he was older.
Combs, who said his sister used to be married to Judge-Executive Denny Ray Noble's brother and had a contentious divorce, said, "This is all political stuff. I think this is the best publicity I could have got.
"Everybody knows I don't drink, I don't smoke, I don't do tobacco, I don't do drugs."
Combs, who was released from the Kentucky River Regional Jail on bond Tuesday night, is scheduled to appear before a special judge March 26.