Have you ever heard of Richie Farmer? Neither had I until I read some articles out of Kentucky about his alleged abuse of power as the Commissioner of Agriculture for the state of Kentucky. Richie was a born and raised in Kentucky and played for the Kentucky Wildcats from 1988 to 1992. His jersey was retired after his college career and he eventually ended up being elected as the Commissioner of Agriculture in 2003.
A recent audit was performed in conjunction with his time as the Commissioner of Agriculture which found some pretty heinous abuses of power:
- Purchased rifles to give to staff members and kept a bunch for himself
- Reserved hotel rooms in the name of employees that was then used for his family members
- Had state workers construct a basketball court at his house
- Had an employee drive him to go hunting where Richie shot a deer from the car and made the employee field dress it for him
- Stole a VCR(??) from his office
- Had state workers mow his yard, chauffeur his dog, move a gun safe to his basement.
- Purchased a couple of 60 inch TVs for his office and a conference room so that he could watch March Madness and expedited the wall brackets costing $60 so it could be mounted before the tournament
- Lastly, Richie is accused of earning 55,000 Marriott Rewards points in conjunction with a 2008 convention held for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture at the Marriott Griffin Gate in Lexington.
The last point amuses me. There is a list of pretty blatant abuses of power, but is earning Marriott Rewards points for a convention really against the Kentucky state law? Shouldn’t that be a benefit to the employee? The company I work for allows us to accumulate our own hotel points and airline miles. The assumption is that we are using the lowest priced airline and not picking flights based on airline loyalty. In turn, the company allows us to accumulate points and miles. Luckily, living in a Delta hub, Delta is usually the lowest price option flying internationally.
The moral of the story is, don’t shoot animals from your state vehicle, don’t have state workers build a basketball court, and lastly don’t you dare steal Marriott Rewards points.