FBI arrests former prosecutor who was impeached, removed from office by Kentucky legislature

by Liam Niemeyer, Kentucky Lantern

 A former prosecutor who was impeached, convicted and removed from elected office by the Kentucky legislature earlier this year is facing several federal charges including wire fraud and bribery.

FBI Louisville Field Office spokesperson Katie Anderson in an email confirmed Ronnie Goldy Jr. — who was the commonwealth’s attorney for the 21st Judicial Circuit serving Rowan, Menifee, Bath and Montgomery counties — was arrested Friday morning in Morehead at an address on Circle Drive. 

A release Friday from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Kentucky stated a federal grand jury indicted Goldy on six counts of honest services wire fraud, six counts of using an interstate communication to commit bribery and two counts of federal program bribery.

According to the release, Goldy had allegedly used his position as a commonwealth’s attorney over the course of about three years to help a criminal defendant in exchange for bribes, specifically soliciting and accepting “sexual favors and sexually explicit images” from the individual.

The release states Goldy will make his initial court appearance Monday at 4 p.m. EST. Goldy could face a maximum 35 years in prison if convicted on all charges.

Requests for comment sent to a phone number and email listed for Goldy on the Kentucky Bar Association’s registry were not immediately returned. The Lexington Herald-Leader first reported on Goldy’s arrest by the FBI. 

The Kentucky House of Representatives impeached and the Kentucky Senate convicted Goldy on three articles of impeachment earlier this year following a Louisville Courier-Journal report finding that Goldy exchanged hundreds of pages of social media messages with a defendant. The defendant had testified that Goldy withdrew warrants and had cases continued in exchange for photos. 

Goldy had resigned from his elected office before being unanimously convicted by the Kentucky Senate, barring the former prosecutor from holding elected office again.

In June, the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled Goldy could return to practicing law stating that his misconduct appeared to be “isolated to just one person.” 

Kentucky Lantern is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Kentucky Lantern maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Jamie Lucke for questions: info@kentuckylantern.com. Follow Kentucky Lantern on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo: Rep. Daniel Elliott, R-Danville, stands as he reads through the articles of impeachment against Ronnie Goldy Jr. on the Kentucky House floor, Feb. 9, 2023. (Kentucky Lantern photo by Liam Niemeyer)