KY House impeaches Commonwealth’s attorney in first action to remove elected official since 1991

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

The Kentucky House unanimously approved a resolution containing three articles of impeachment against Ronnie Lee Goldy, Jr., the Commonwealth’s Attorney for Bath, Menifee, Montgomery, and Rowan counties, meaning the Senate can now hold a trial on his removal from office.

The process began with the filing of HR 11 on January 5, which directed the House to appoint a committee to investigate any alleged misconduct committed by Goldy based on the Supreme Court’s decision to suspend Goldy from the practice of law.

Committee members met several times in January and early February to review evidence and hear from three Commonwealth attorneys who also serve as members of the Commonwealth Prosecutors Advisory Council.

Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, spoke with reporters Friday about the impeachment process for Commonwealth’s Attorney Ronnie Lee Goldy. (Photo by Tom Latek, Kentucky Today)

Evidence included roughly 190 pages of messages, illicit in nature, between Goldy and a female criminal defendant. The messages indicated that, in exchange for sexually explicit photographs, Goldy would intervene in ongoing criminal cases.

Testifying before the impeachment committee, three members of the Commonwealth Prosecutors Advisory Council noted that not only is communication of this nature inappropriate, but direct communication between a criminal defendant and a commonwealth’s attorney constitutes a misuse of the power the office holds and a betrayal of public trust.

Due to the committee’s findings, a resolution with articles describing the impeachable offenses was filed as HR 30, and included three articles defining the grounds for impeachment:

• The Kentucky Supreme Court issued a suspension rendering Goldy unable to fulfill his duties in office.

• The nature of Goldy’s communications with the defendant.

• The quid pro quo committed between the defendant and Goldy.

Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, explained to reporters on Friday

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Reimbursement for East Palestine evacuation could hinder future legal claims

EAST PALESTINE, Ohio — Families returning to East Palestine following a fiery train derailment tell News 5 they’re worried about the long-term effects the crash and release of hazardous materials will have on their property and their health.

Norfolk Southern is offering an “inconvenience fee” to those who left town during a mandatory evacuation, but some attorneys are wary of how the reimbursement could affect future claims.

“I’ve never been in a situation before where someone who’s potentially going to pay out big money is paying out small money at the front end of a case. And to use a baseball analogy—before the players are even out of the dugout,” said Michael O’Shea, an attorney with Lipson O’Shea Legal Group.

So far, the law firm has met with 20-30 prospective clients who live or work near the derailment site. O’Shea expects more to reach out as concerns mount over the exposure to hazardous material.

“I’ve been holding myself together, but it’s really hitting me. I’m scared to death of what I’ve breathed,” said Ted Murphy in a phone call Friday.

Wednesday, Murphy walked News 5 through his home shortly after evacuation orders were lifted. He elected not to sleep there that night. The house sits 500 feet from where a Norfolk Southern train derailed Feb. 3.

READ MORE: ‘It’s safe:’ residents of East Palestine allowed to return home

Ten of the train’s 50 cars contained a toxic, highly flammable material called vinyl chloride. Monday, crews slowly burned the chemical from five cars to prevent a bigger disaster. The state required everyone to leave town until the air quality reached a safe level.

READ MORE: Crews perform controlled chemical release at derailment site

Norfolk Southern is asking residents to fill out an itemized claim worksheet for the “inconvenience fee“,

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Young performers practicing the law of entertainment

Drayton Entertainment’s Youth Academy high school musical production program stages its first offering next week in the form of Legally Blonde The Musical.

The show, which runs at the St. Jacobs Country Playhouse from February 15-26, promises to be an explosion of youthful energy, sass and the colour pink.

The high school musical production program brings together young performers from across the region to prepare for and stage a musical.

For Ella Way, a Grade 11 student at Waterloo-Oxford District Secondary School, the experience has been a fun one.

“It’s just the fact that you get to work with other people who just love doing it. And just love being there and are just happy to be part of this team,” said Way, who is involved with the costume design team.

“Drayton’s been something that my family has been participating in and going to watch shows since I was really, really little. So when David [Connolly] started talking about and planning the Youth Academy, we thought, ‘Well, might as well do it,’ because I enjoy doing theater stuff and being involved in the backstage stuff.”

The play follows character Elle Woods and her adventures as she enters Harvard Law School, despite the stereotypes that she doesn’t belong there.

“It’s an iconic musical that has stood the test of many, many years because I think the themes of shattering stereotypes and being true to yourself are more important now than when it first came out. It came out in 2003, but I think with the advent of social media, these themes, to these kids, especially, post pandemic are really, really vital,” said Connolly, the associate artistic director for Drayton Entertainment and director of education for the Youth Academy. 

From Way’s perspective, the costumes reflect how fun the play is. “Well, we’re

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Legal Briefs: News From Around NH

U.S. Department of Labor is launching an effort to alert families throughout the nation of changes in federal law that now extend the rights to pump breastmilk at work to more women, including those employed as teachers, farmworkers and care workers.

The newly enacted Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers Act extends the rights of nursing mothers to have time and a private space to pump breastmilk at work. Under the PUMP Act, more workers in more industries are now protected by the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The new protections also expand remedies available to these workers if their employers do not comply with the law.

The campaign by the department’s Wage and Hour Division – which enforces the PUMP Act and the FLSA – provides information about worker protections for nursing mothers includes national outreach and a website providing guidance, fact sheets and other resources for workers and employers.

Among the PUMP Act’s provisions is the extension of rights and protections to have break time and space to pump breast milk at work to include millions of working women not previously covered by the FLSA. It also allows working women to


Jay Buckey

take legal action and seek monetary remedies if their employer fails to comply with federal law.

Buckey joins Shaheen & Gordon

Attorney Jay Buckey has joined the to the civil litigation practice group of Shaheen & Gordon, working out of the firm’s Concord office.

Buckey, who previously worked as a managing attorney at the New Hampshire Public Defender, works with clients on a variety of civil matters from representation of individual clients to complex commercial disputes, including in Superior Court and federal District Court. He has also served as an adjunct professor at Vermont Law School, teaching criminal law.

Formella urges Biden

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Roosevelt County attorney forced to leave office because he doesn’t live there

Voters in Roosevelt County elected a new county attorney last November, but less than three months later he’s already being removed from office.

It turns out, Frank Piocos doesn’t actually live in the county.

A private citizen had to make the discovery.

Piocos once worked in Yellowstone County as a public defender.

He says he’s worked on criminal cases for 23 years.

But that career was upended last Friday, when a judge determined he can no longer serve because he doesn’t live in Roosevelt County.

“I just decided right is right and it needed to be done,” said Darla Downs, who filed the complaint as a private citizen.

Downs is the publisher of the Northern Plains Independent in Wolf Point.

She filed a complaint, alleging Piocos falsely registered as an elector when he provided a Roosevelt County address that wasn’t his residence.

“I wasn’t filing on, you know that he’s doing a bad job or he didn’t do the things that I wanted him to do on other cases,” Downs said. “It was strictly a residency issue.”

The court agreed.

According to court documents, Piocos was actually living in Valley County at least at the time he was elected.

Piocos was first appointed to the position in February of 2021, after county Attorney Austin Knudsen left to become Montana’s attorney general.

Piocos was then elected in November to stay in the position.

MTN contacted Piocos who did want to speak on camera.

“I disagree with the judge’s ruling,” Piocos said on the phone. “But I respect the decision and I will not appeal.”

He went on to say, “It was my intent and declaration to make Roosevelt County my residence.”

“We’ll know either to extend this interim position or run a special election,” said Roosevelt County Commissioner Gordon Oelkers.


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Berolahraga dan Beramal Dukung Pelestarian Mangrove di Angke

Suaka Margasatwa Muara Angke, Jakarta Utara

Tugu Insurance kembali bekerja sama dengan Cause Virtual Run & Ride menyelenggarakan kegiatan olahraga sambil beramal mendukung pelestarian mangrove bertajuk Tugu Charity Virtual Run & Ride 2022.

Event ini diselenggarakan sebagai bagian dari rangkaian perayaan hari ulang tahun Tugu Insurance ke-41. Sesuai dengan temanya, acara ini bertujuan mendukung pelestarian lingkungan, utamanya mangrove di Suaka Margasatwa (SM) Muara Angke, Jakarta dengan menanam 250 bibit mangrove.

Tugu Virtual Charity Run & Ride 2022 dirilis pada 9 Desember 2022 dengan dua pilihan kategori yang dapat diikuti, yakni 4.1K Walk & Run dan 41K Ride. Kategori olahraga kali ini diadakan secara mingguan, yang mana peserta diwajibkan untuk menyelesaikan minimal 4.1 km lari atau 41 km bersepeda untuk memenangkan berbagai hadiah mingguan yang menarik. Periode aktivitas Tugu Virtual Charity Run & Ride 2022 dimulai pada 24 Desember 2022 hingga 23 Januari 2023.

Acara ini berhasil mengumpulkan peserta berkisar 7.000 orang dari 300 kota di 34 provinsi. 

Semangat peserta untuk mengikuti acara ini membuat target berhasil terpenuhi hanya dalam waktu tiga hari sejak pertama kali dibuka. Angka partisipasi di ajang olahraga virtual kedua dari Tugu Insurance ini jauh lebih banyak daripada acara pertama yang diselenggarakan tahun lalu, dengan perbandingan hingga 2000-an peserta.

Melalui acara yang diikuti oleh ribuan peserta ini, setiap jarak yang ditempuh akan menjadi sangat berarti, karena Tugu Insurance akan mengkonversi setiap kilometer yang ditempuh menjadi donasi yang akan digunakan untuk mendukung pelestarian mangrove di SM Muara Angke. Donasi akan disalurkan melalui Yayasan Konservasi Alam Nusantara (YKAN) dalam bentuk penanaman 250 bibit pohon mangrove di SM Muara Angke.

“Ini merupakan event yang luar biasa karena selain kami menyasar aspek positif dalam hal kesehatan, kami pun turut serta menyertakan unsur charity untuk pelestarian mangrove. Mangrove memiliki peranan penting bagi kehidupan, seperti menjadi habitat dan tempat berkembang biak bagi biota

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There’s a push for young lawyers to practice in rural America

The Instagram page of John Paul Svec has three photos. In the first two, from seven years ago, he’s a high school kid holding a bow and a rifle. That third photo, from six years later, shows what might keep him in a small town. It’s his letter of acceptance to the University of Nebraska College of Law.

The snapshot of Nebraska mirrors that of the nation. A recent American Bar study found the country’s biggest counties typically have a dozen or more lawyers for every 1,000 residents. But nearly half of America’s counties – typically the most rural and remote – have fewer than one for every 1,000.

Richard Moberly is the dean at the University of Nebraska College of Law. When his state saw a lack of rural doctors, the medical college developed a rural training track to set up students in areas of need.

“About 60% of those students ended up going back to those communities. So, we’re hoping for the same,” Moberly said. “A lot of the older attorneys, especially, have worked with the people in that community for a generation and know that, if no one can step in to their shoes, those people are really going to lose out on the services that lawyers provide.”

“Here in Wahoo, I believe there are three offices. Ours is the largest,” Svec said.

Wahoo may be a small town, but it’s actually among the better-off towns in Nebraska. It has about 40 lawyers in the county. In the next county over, where Svec grew up, there are five.

“You could have someone come in and let’s say they need estate planning and then, ‘Oh, hey, I also have this.’ You know, completely different issue,” Svec said, “It’s good that Nebraska has started a program like this.

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Biometric Privacy Protection Becomes Focus for State Legislators

Lawmakers in nine states are advocating for new regulations on how companies handle biometric information such as fingerprints and facial scans, which could lead to increased legal risks for businesses that collect such data. Democratic and Republican lawmakers have proposed bills highlighting the importance of the issue and the concern it raises for people on both sides of the political spectrum.

The legislation comes in response to growing litigation and settlements by companies such as Facebook and TikTok over biometric privacy. Illinois was the first state to enact a biometric privacy law in 2008, the only law that includes a private right of action. Privacy advocates argue that biometric information is unique and should be protected, as it is immutable and cannot be changed.

Despite opposition from tech company lobbyists, legislative committees have approved biometric privacy bills in several states. The proposed bills would generally require companies to obtain consent from individuals before collecting their biometric data, to inform them of the collection, and to have clear policies for protecting and destroying the data. Some states have proposed more limited mandates, while others have included biometric privacy in broader consumer privacy legislation.

In the past, states failed to pass biometric privacy legislation allowing individuals to sue companies. However, this year’s efforts may see success as people become more aware of the dangers of allowing tech companies to regulate themselves. High-profile settlements under the Illinois private right of action show the law’s effectiveness in protecting biometric data. Statehouses that pursue individuals’ ability to sue are trying to level the playing field between US consumers and big tech companies.

If the proposed bills are enacted, companies could face a range of state-specific biometric requirements in addition to new consumer privacy laws. Consumers are increasingly concerned about protecting their biometric data

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Tonawanda man says insurance company owes him more than $5,000

TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WKBW) — A Tonawanda man says a company he thought was providing him with medical coverage owes him more than $5,000.

When a hip injury led Jim Plinzke to retirement, he looked for a new medical insurance plan.

After filling out an online form, Plinzke got a call from a company offering him coverage for $800 less than what he had been paying monthly.

“They said if I paid in advance it would be less than $500 dollars per month, but I’d have to pay an initiation fee or something like that,” said Plinzke.

Plinzke paid $5,065 to Quick Health for what he was told was a full year of medical and dental coverage.

“At that time I thought it was legitimate. It made sense to me,” he said.

But Plinzke soon learned his doctors were unfamiliar with the ID cards emailed to him.

“When I called and asked them about that, they said not everything is online yet and this is pretty new,” Plinzke said.

Plinzke decided to cancel his plan and requested his money back.

“Gentleman told me it was going to take 7-10 days and I said I’m getting a little nervous,” he said.

Weeks passed without a refund, so he contacted 7 Problem Solvers.

7 Problem Solver Michael Schwartz called First Health Network, a company on one of the ID cards. A representative said they are just a health coverage network, not an insurance company.

Schwartz then contacted Quick Health. After explaining the situation, he was hung up on. He called back and was told they don’t have the authorization to speak to him and couldn’t forward him to a manager.

In the fine print of a receipt, it said the program is not an insurance policy. It provides discounts at certain healthcare providers

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