Politics & Government

Richie Farmer's sister resigns state job

FRANKFORT — Rhonda K. Monroe, a sister of former Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer, has resigned from her $77,391-a-year post as assistant executive director of the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance.

Monroe was placed on special leave with pay in March for a period not to exceed 60 working days while the registry cooperated with investigative authorities looking at allegations that she and Farmer violated state ethics laws.

Farmer is facing an Oct. 22 trial in federal court on four counts of misappropriating state funds and one count of soliciting a bribe. He has pleaded not guilty.

Farmer and his sister face three counts of breaking ethics laws for allegedly conspiring to submit false records to the registry about his 2007 re-election campaign for agriculture commissioner. The expense records allegedly allowed Farmer to collect inappropriate payments from his campaign.

According to records from the registry obtained Tuesday through a request under the Open Records Act, Monroe submitted a formal resignation letter on May 15, effective the next day, to registry chairman Craig Dilger and Executive Director Sarah Jackson.

"During my tenure, our work together allowed for significant improvements in streamlining and efficiency at the registry, and I have only the highest regard for my colleagues who share in that credit," Monroe wrote. "While this break in service may be necessary at this time, I remain hopeful of future opportunities for similar personal and professional advancement."

She did not state a reason for her resignation.

In a May 16 letter to Monroe, Jackson said her resignation was accepted that day "with prejudice due to a pending investigation into alleged misconduct."