Franklin County

Lexington man pleads guilty in drug-education tampering case

FRANKFORT — A Lexington man pleaded guilty Friday to felony charges that he falsified forms to indicate that his clients had completed an alcohol-education program.

Timothy Monhollen, 39, will avoid a six-year prison sentence if he abides by the terms of a "pretrial diversion" for five years, Assistant Attorney General Thom Marshall said.

A state-certified alcohol- and drug-education instructor, Monhollen was indicted by a Franklin County grand jury last year on three counts of tampering with public records. The tampering cases happened on Sept. 1, 2005; Aug. 5, 2008; and May 7, 2009, according to the indictment.

Monhollen was an instructor and assessor in Boyle, Fayette, Jessamine, Lincoln and Mercer counties. An assessor evaluates drug and alcohol offenders to determine the level of care they need. As an instructor, Monhollen taught classes to offenders who must complete drug and alcohol education as part of their sentences.

In the three cases that formed the basis of the indictment, Monhollen said offenders had completed a 20-hour alcohol-education course when they had not, Marshall said.

Monhollen's reason or motivation for doing so is not known, but Marshall said there is no evidence to suggest that Monhollen was paid more money to lie. Marshall speculated that Monhollen might have wanted to do a favor for clients.

"This is the first case like this that I've seen," Marshall said.

The case was referred to the state attorney general's office from the Cabinet for Health and Family Services in August 2010.

Officials at the cabinet became suspicious when Monhollen had assessed clients one week and then sent in DUI program completion forms the following week. That raised questions because the required 20-hour program could not be completed that quickly, Marshall said. The course required no more than three classes a week, and each class cannot exceed two hours. Normally, clients would attend classes for a month before an assessor would send in forms notifying the state Transportation Cabinet that offenders had successfully completed the course.

Monhollen must meet certain terms according to a plea agreement.

He must undergo a mental health and drug/alcohol assessment and comply with the recommended treatment. He may not work in Kentucky in any capacity related to DUI or domestic-violence offenders, and he may not reapply for any state certification as a DUI or domestic violence counselor.

In a bit of irony, Monhollen must complete a 20-hour DUI program at his expense — the same kind of program that he conducted and that got him into trouble.

The state agreed not to prosecute Monhollen for any other offenses he might have committed from June 1, 2004 to June 30, 2012. Marshall said Monhollen has no convictions.

However, should Monhollen violate the above terms, he waives any "speedy trial issues" on additional charges in the event that his pre-trial diversion is voided.

Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd scheduled sentencing for Nov. 16.