Quick Takes

Kentucky House impeachment committee convenes to investigate scandal-plagued prosecutors

By: - January 5, 2023 7:13 pm
Jason Nemes

A Kentucky House committee charged with investigating whether there is sufficient evidence to recommend impeachment of two prosecutors — each one facing separate scandals — convened Thursday evening. 

House Majority Floor Whip Rep. Jason Nemes, R-Louisville, filed two resolutions initiating the formal impeachment process in the first days of this year’s legislative session against two commonwealth’s attorneys: Ronnie Goldy, the commonwealth’s attorney for the 21st Judicial Circuit serving Rowan, Menifee, Bath and Montgomery counties; and Rick Boling, the commonwealth’s attorney for the 3rd Judicial Circuit representing Christian County. 

The resolutions spotlight details of scandals that each prosecutor in question has faced last year over alleged misconduct. Ronnie Goldy allegedly asked for nude photos and videos of a defendant in exchange for prosecutorial favors, and Rick Boling reportedly falsified testimony that led to an indictment. Boling also wrote a letter to former Gov. Matt Bevin asking for a pardon of a sex offender, Dayton Jones, claiming without proof that the conviction of Jones was a political vendetta against Jones’ grandparents, whom at one point had reportedly donated to an election campaign for Boling. 

Nemes, the chair of the impeachment committee, said the committee would be “very deliberate” and “fair to all parties” in its proceedings. 

“There’s been some serious allegations made against two prosecutors,” Nemes said. “The first step is, we will be reaching out to the respondents and seeing what information they’d like the committee to consider on their behalf.” 

The impeachment committee will investigate the prosecutors to see if there is sufficient evidence to recommend an impeachment to the House of Representatives. It would take a majority of House members to impeach. The Kentucky Senate would hold a trial over the elected prosecutors, and two-thirds of senators present would be needed to convict and remove the elected prosecutors from office. 

Both prosecutors were booted from the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Association, a state group representing the elected prosecutors, late last year after the association became aware of information about the two prosecutors that fell “well below” the standards needed for prosecutors to maintain public trust. 

The Kentucky Supreme Court suspended Goldy shortly after his expulsion from the association. In December 2022, a trial commissioner recommended that Boling be suspended from practicing law for five years. Boling’s attorney at that time said he would appeal the recommendation to the Kentucky Bar Association’s board of governors. 

Boling in a statement said he did not believe his conduct warrants an impeachment inquiry.

“I believe that the House [of Representatives] should wait for completion on the KBA proceedings, then decide if an investigation is warranted.”

The next impeachment committee meeting is scheduled for Jan. 17. Nemes said a public website would be established with access to the impeachment resolutions and other relevant documents.

This story was updated with a statement from Boling. A sentence was added for context regarding an appeal by Boling.

Correction: This story previously misstated the timeframe regarding conduct by Boling. 

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Liam Niemeyer
Liam Niemeyer

Liam covers government and policy in Kentucky and its impacts throughout the Commonwealth for the Kentucky Lantern. He most recently spent four years reporting award-winning stories for WKMS Public Radio in Murray.