Update: Breathitt County Judge Executive pleads not guilty
Breathitt County Judge Executive Jeff Noble pleaded not guilty Friday.
He faces 16 counts of first-degree official misconduct and one count of theft.
Noble's pretrial hearing is scheduled for October 25.
Breathitt County Judge Executive Jeff Noble is under fire once again.
Noble was arrested Tuesday and faces 16 new counts of first-degree official misconduct, one count of abuse of public trust for less than $10,000 and one count of theft by unlawful taking less than $10,000.
The Democratic judge executive was indicted earlier this month for allegedly buying lumber with county money and giving it to someone for personal use.
According to court documents, the new charges allege that Noble put diesel fuel from the Jiffy Mart into his personal vehicle 16 times and used county funds to pay for it. This allegedly cost the county $986.08.
A magistrate on Noble's side talked to WYMT and said he believes Noble was using the fuel to do county work. If this was the case, Noble did not follow proper procedures set in the Breathitt County administrative code. It states officials travel in privately owned vehicles shall be reimbursed in accordance with the rates set forth in the federal government travel regulations.
Officials at the sheriff's department say Noble used two county credit cards to purchase the fuel.
Some who work for the county say this is not surprising.
"This doesn't surprise me at all you know he's ignored directions from the county attorney, he's ignored directions from the circuit judge, he's ignored orders from the magistrates, decisions from the magistrates, and it's finally culminated down into [Tuesday], the arrest," said Calvin Saum, the Breathitt County solid waste coordinator.
Due to Noble not property logging the miles, there is no way to figure out how many miles were used for county or personal use.
Noble's lawyer, Derek Jorge Campbell, said Noble buying the gas was necessary.
"Due to the constant fight that he's had with his local fiscal court, he's acting not only as county judge executive, he is also right now the county road supervisor, he's the chief economic development officer for the county, and that forces him to crisscross the county as well as the state," said Campbell.
Noble was taken to the Three Forks Regional Jail Tuesday afternoon. Wednesday, Noble got out on a $2,000 surety bond. Cambell said the judge executive is still planning to conduct county business as the case proceeds.
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