Judge orders Knott judge-executive, 3 others to prison

Knott County Judge-Executive Randy Thompson and three others convicted in a federal vote-fraud case must report to prison on Dec. 6, a federal judge ordered Wednesday.

The four had been free while on appeal, but a three-judge panel of the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in September upheld their convictions.

U.S. District Judge Gregory F. Van Tatenhove allowed the four to remain free while they asked for a re-hearing by the entire 6th Circuit panel.

However, the appeals court denied that re-hearing in an order issued this week.

Thompson said Wednesday evening he is considering whether to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to take his case.

Thompson said he did not know whether he could ask Van Tatenhove to let him remain free during the time he is appealing to the nation's high court, if in fact he does.

A federal jury convicted Thompson in 2008 of taking part in a scheme to buy votes in his November 2006 election by using public funds to improve driveways and build bridges on private property.

Those convicted with him were assistants John Mac Combs and Phillip G. Champion, and Ronnie Adams, a former magistrate who worked for the county.

Van Tatenhove sentenced Thompson to 40 months in prison; Combs to 36 months; Adams to 32 months; and Champion to 18 months.