Bourbon County

Bourbon jailer, aide give up duties

PARIS — The Bourbon County jailer and his chief deputy agreed to stay out of the Bourbon County Detention Center in order to avoid being arrested on charges stemming from their indictment last week, according to court documents.

The agreement was made by prosecutors and attorneys for Jailer Tony Horn and Chief Deputy Jailer Sandy Dotson. It sheds light on Horn and Dotson's employment status, which had been unclear.

According to agreed orders filed this week in Bourbon Circuit Court, a court summons was issued for Horn and Dotson instead of an arrest warrant because the two agreed to give up their duties, pending the outcome of their case. The two retain their titles, though they are not performing the jobs.

Horn has been charged with two counts of tampering with public records, a class D felony, and two counts of first-degree official misconduct, a class A misdemeanor. The allegations in the indictment include that Horn ordered the destruction of e-mails after an inmate's death in February with "the intent to impair the e-mails' availability for use in the official proceeding."

Dotson has been charged with two counts of tampering with physical evidence, a class D felony, and one count of official misconduct.

Horn has not returned messages. Dotson could not be reached.

Dotson's attorney, Tucker Richardson, said the agreements, which were signed by Bourbon Circuit Judge Paul Isaacs, were made at the time of the indictments.

Richardson declined to comment further on the case.

Horn's attorney, Burl McCoy, did not return multiple phone calls.

Bourbon County Judge-Executive Donnie Foley told the Herald-Leader Tuesday that Horn and Dotson had not been at work since they were indicted.

The Department of Corrections and a private jail consultant have been working with the jail since then. The Bourbon County Fiscal Court approved last Thursday temporarily hiring a part-time chief deputy jailer and an administrative clerk at the county jail.

Foley said both Horn and Dotson will continue to receive their paychecks.

Andrew Hartley, staff attorney for the state Department for Local Government, which advises local governments on issues including personnel, said an indictment does not automatically vacate an elected office. An elected official, such as a jailer, still has the right to serve until "removed from office by a court of law or until he resigns or is otherwise incapacitated."

Horn was elected as the jailer last November. He appointed Dotson to her post, so Foley said the county cannot suspend her. "She is Tony's employee, and he is still the jailer," Foley said. He said Dotson has worked at the jail for about eight years.