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Former aide to Isaac pleads guilty to official misconduct

A onetime senior aide to former Lexington Mayor Teresa Isaac pleaded guilty in Fayette Circuit Court on Friday to official misconduct in the first degree.

Becky Estep is scheduled for sentencing before Fayette Circuit Judge Thomas Clark on Oct. 13.

Meanwhile, a case is pending against Debbie Jones, who was an administrative assistant in Isaac’s administration. Jones has another court appearance Sept. 5.

Jones and Estep were indicted by a Fayette County grand jury last March on one count each of theft by unlawful taking over $300, a Class D felony.

According to court documents filed last March, Estep used money belonging to the Lexington Festival Committee to buy clothes, popcorn and lunches worth more than $300. Jones allegedly used money from the same source to pay for a trip to Gatlinburg, Tenn., and gift cards and lunches totaling more than $300.

The charge to which Estep pleaded guilty, official misconduct in the first degree, is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to 12 months in jail or a fine of up to $500 or both.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Ray Larson’s office is recommending that Estep serve 180 days in jail and make restitution for what she took. The amount of restitution is still being calculated.

Under Kentucky law, public servants are guilty of official misconduct in the first degree if they knowingly commit acts related to their office that constitute an unauthorized exercise of official function “with intent to obtain or confer a benefit, or to injure another person or deprive another person of a benefit.”