Bourbon County

Bourbon jailer could return to work after serving 90-day sentence

PARIS — A Central Kentucky jailer who is running for county judge-executive now sits behind bars, serving a 90-day sentence for two misdemeanors stemming from allegations that staffers tampered with documents related to the death of an inmate.

But it is not clear whether Tony Horn, 61, will resume his role as Bourbon County jailer after he finishes serving time for two counts of criminal attempt to tamper with physical evidence. He was convicted after a two-day trial in March.

Horn's attorney, Burl McCoy, noted that Horn did not lose any rights with the misdemeanor convictions. Horn, a Republican, plans to run for judge-executive in the fall against incumbent Donnie Foley, a Democrat.

Horn, who declined an interview request made through his attorney, agreed to give up his duties after his indictment in September 2008.

But the jailer continued to receive pay after he was indicted on two counts of tampering with physical evidence, a Class D felony, and two counts of first-degree official misconduct, a Class A misdemeanor. And he continues to be paid as he serves his time at the Woodford County Detention Center.

The Bourbon Circuit Court jury did not convict Horn on the official misconduct charges, which stemmed from accusations that he allowed an inmate charged with first-degree robbery to be on work release without a court order, and failed to report or investigate the disappearance of 30 methadone pills.

Horn was found guilty on two counts of a lesser tampering charge.

The tampering charges came after Horn was accused of ordering the destruction of e-mails related to Daniel Trimble, who committed suicide in February 2008, and after Horn was accused of sending a fabricated suicide observation report to the Department of Corrections during the death investigation.

Foley, the Bourbon County judge-executive, said Horn's annual salary is about $75,000. Foley said he has not spoken to Horn, but Horn can remain jailer until his term ends.

Bourbon County officials are drafting an agreement with Nicholas County for a regional jail. If the agreement is finalized before Horn's term ends, Foley said, Horn would become a part-time transportation officer.

The regional jail would allow a board of Bourbon and Nicholas County representatives to appoint a transportation officer, and a jailer no longer would be elected.