CARLISLE — Nicholas County Sheriff Dick Garrett said Tuesday he does not intend to step down in the wake of his indictment this week on two felony counts.
On Monday, a Nicholas County grand jury indicted Garrett on one count of theft by deception and one count of abuse of public trust, said Kathryn Hendrickson of Maysville, the special prosecutor who presented the case to the grand jury.
Hendrickson would not discuss specifics of the counts on Tuesday, but Garrett said the charges dealt with his handling of cash confiscated during a drug investigation.
Deputies in the Nicholas circuit court clerk's office said they could not release the indictment to a reporter because it had not been formally entered into the court record.
Garrett, 48, said he has not been served any papers, does not have an attorney and did not know specifics about the indictment.
"As far as I know, I'm going to continue to be sheriff," Garrett said. He said he has no intention of stepping down "unless someone says I've got to."
Garrett said he was aware that state police were investigating him. He has been sheriff since 2003 and defeated three opponents in the Democratic primary in May. He has no opposition in the Nov. 2 general election.
Garrett was the subject of national attention in November 2008 when he ordered two men driving tractors to tip over a mobile home that blocked U.S. 68 for hours. The move destroyed the unit and brought criticism from the owner of the mobile home and others. The incident was highlighted on CNN Headline News and the satirical Web site Fark.com.
Word about the indictment leaked out Tuesday in Carlisle, population 1,900, the county seat. Garrett's brother, George, who runs Garrett's Restaurant across the street from the county courthouse, said a couple of customers had asked him about it, but he had no details.
Carlisle police Chief William Denton also declined comment on the indictment.
"It's a small town, and we all have to get along," Denton said.
Jerry Wagner, executive director of the Kentucky Sheriffs' Association, said he was shocked when told about the indictment.
"Dick's been an outstanding member of our association," Wagner said. "He hasn't done anything wrong with us."
Abuse of the public trust involving public property or public money of $10,000 to $100,000 is a Class C felony punishable by five to 10 years in prison, while felony theft by deception is a Class D felony punishable by one to five years in prison.
Nicholas Circuit Judge Jay Delaney has recused himself from Garrett's case, which means a special judge must be appointed to preside over it. No arraignment date has been scheduled for Garrett.