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Horgan gets censure, $200 fine for ethics violation

Fayette County Commissioner Robert Horgan's fellow commissioners voted 4-0 tonight to levy a $200 fine and record a resolution of public censure as punishment for violating the county's ethics ordinance

in May 2009 for possessing a misdemeanor amount of marijuana in his personal vehicle.

Horgan declined the opportunity to make a statement, but Commission Chairman Jack Smith said the reason the board had not made any comment until now was because the board would be sitting in judgment if Horgan was determined to have violated the ethics ordinance.

Commissioner Eric Maxwell also made lengthy comments, noting again that he had initially asked Horgan to resign in the days following Horgan's arrest by a sheriff's deputy who had pulled him over on Stanley Road.

Horgan resisted multiple calls for his resignation and ultimately survived a recall lawsuit aimed at booting him from office. He later pled guilty earlier this year to misdemeanor marijuana possession and driving with an expired tag. Horgan was fined $800, sentenced to 12 months probation and ordered not to use any drugs or alcohol.

In August, Horgan was brought back to court for violating his probation by testing positive for alcohol and was ordered to provide 20 days community service and participate in 30 Alcoholics Anonymous meetings within 30 days.

Fayette resident Pat Hinchey, who co-filed the ethics complaint, said he was satisfied that justice had been served in the matter.



Robert W. Morgan's picture

Is it time to stop writing about this yet? I am so tired of hearing about this. Horgan has been found guilty of a misdemeanor, fined twice, censured and sentenced and mostly ruined in the press. Sure he was stupid and he certainly won't get reelected (or even run again if he's smart), but enough already.

Now is a good time for the citizens of his district to get behind a couple strong candidates who can debate whatever they think the real issues are in Fayette County and be prepared for the next election.

Live free or die!

NUK_1's picture

I think he was advocating a public hanging or at least a lot more in fines. Wow, looking forward to more coverage on the most overblown issue in FC this year. Looks like Horgan is still in office and still voting to go ahead with the WFB as fervently as ever, but I guess the people so upset with him really taught him a lesson! WHO CARES is what comes to mind after all of this hoopla over a misdemeanor pot charge.

I laughed at your comment. I'm wondering if the "Dyspeptic 3" (Ross, Hinchey and Cree) will find some legal loophole to appeal this fine as somehow not being large enough.

I'm strongly in favor of strict governmental ethics, but this little dustup has soured me a bit. A $200 fine for the ethics violation of an expired car tag? I've never been a fan of Horgan but this has left me feeling sympathetic towards him.

NUK_1's picture

I didn't vote for him because he gave me the impression that he wasn't the brightest guy around and also didn't seem to have a real purpose in running for office in the first place, but I think he's suffered enough and been held accountable enough before now. Good grief, there are bigger issues out there and I still say that if he was anti-WFB, most of the righteous indignation and howling would have stopped long ago.

John Munford's picture

Yes, Bob Ross said he was OK with the outcome (i am paraphrasing here).

Staff Writer

NUK_1's picture

Sounds like the end of that episode, thankfully.

Gene61's picture

I guess this matter is closed until Horgan screws up again.. given his arrogance, its too bad that we couldn't booted this clown from office. But the matter is done for now.

doright's picture

$200 that's GREAT! I am going to seek a spot as a commissioner so that I too can be a pot smoking commissioner and get off scott free! WOOHOO!

Truly our other commissioners were enjoying a little funny tobacco when they made that decision to only censure our pot smoking commissioner $200 instead of the $1,000 that would have sent a LOUD message that this behavior will not be tolerated in County positions.

Grab your bongs and let's roll we have a campaign to organize!

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